Frequent Starbucks latte-drinkers will have their day in court and could receive class-action lawsuit cash.
A suit filed in Northern California against the coffee behemoth alleges that its baristas are systematically underfilling lattes. Siera Strumlauf and Benjamin Robles (who brought the suit) claim that the standard Starbucks latte recipe was established in 2009 with the aim of saving on milk costs by making the “fill to” line on the milk pitchers too low.
The result is lattes that leave a quarter inch of free space at the top.
"By underfilling its lattes, thereby shortchanging its customers, Starbucks has saved countless millions of dollars in the cost of goods sold and was unjustly enriched by taking payment for more product than it delivers," the suit states.
As fictitious Seinfeld attorney, Jackie Chiles would say, “This a clear violation of your rights as a consumer. It's an infringement on your constitutional rights. It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!”
The suit doesn’t stop at lattes:
“Moreover, Starbucks refuses to fill any hot beverage up to the brim of the cup. Thus, under no circumstances will Starbucks ever serve a Grande Latte that actually meets the fluid ounces represented on the menu.”
Here’s a taste of how consumers reacted online:
If the court wants evidence, there are thousands of photos on Instagram that use the #Starbucks and #latte hashtags. It’s tough to tell if people had already taken sips before it occurred to them to take a photo of their coffee, but a quick survey of just the # starbuckslatte found few, if any, underfilled lattes.
RELATED: How to eliminate corporate jargon and drive business performance with improved communications techniques.
So what does Starbucks have to say about it? A company rep gave Eater the following statement:
"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, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations."
How is the brand informing customers of variations, other than asking if they want room for cream?
Read the full lawsuit here:
Starbucks Underfilled Latte Lawsuit by Eater