March 19, 2016 – (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) Anyone who has gone into a Starbucks will notice their 3 sizes of cups – Tall, Grande, and Venti. It also states that the sizes are 12, 16, and 20 ounces. The question now, that a court may have to decide is are the ounces listed the amount of beverage that you are supposed to get or simply the size of the cup.
In a lawsuit that was filed this week, in California, Plaintiffs state:
“Starbucks lattes are uniformly underfilled pursuant to a standardized recipe. Tall lattes are not 12 fluid ounces. Grande lattes are not 16 fluid ounces, and Venti lattes are not 20 fluid ounces. Starbucks cheats purchasers by providing less fluid ounces in their lattes than represented.”
In order to create a latte, the lawsuit says, Starbucks Lattes are made from a standardized recipe, which Starbucks instituted in 2009 to save on the cost of milk – one of its most expensive ingredients. To create a Latte, the standardized recipe requires Starbucks baristas to fill a pitcher with steamed milk up to an etched “fill to” line that corresponds to the size of the customer’s order, pour shots of espresso into a separate serving cup, pour the steamed milk from the pitcher into the serving cup, and top with ¼” of milk foam, leaving ¼” of free space in the cup. However, Starbucks’ standardized recipes for Lattes result in beverages that are plainly underfilled. Stated otherwise, the etched “fill to” lines in the pitchers are too low, by several ounces
In a statement Starbucks says:
“We are aware of the plaintiffs’ claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted and customized beverages. Hand-prepared beverages increase the likelihood of variations, as disclosed in the nutritional section of our website. Customers often prescribe for us how they want their beverage prepared (e.g. with room, extra foam), therefore beverage volumes are largely collaborative. If a customer is unhappy with their beverage preparation then we are happy to remake it to their satisfaction”