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TikTok Video Goes Viral After Starbucks 'Surprise Me' Trend Goes Wrong TikToker Kristen Alk did not get the cheery response she was expecting — and the internet is divided about it.

By Jonathan Small

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When coffee reviewer Kristen Alk pulled up to order at her local Starbucks drive-thru, she did what so many TikTokers have done in recent months — she ordered a "surprise me drink."

The idea behind the #surprisemedrink trend is to give the barista a chance to get creative and deliver an off-menu, hand-picked concoction of their own making. Past videos have shown baristas serving up everything from a Rainbow Sherbet Frappuccino to a Hot Butterbeer Latte.

But Alk received a surprise of a different sort.

The incident was captured in a video that has since gone viral, with nearly 1 million views in 3 days.

Rather than accept the challenge, the Starbucks employee on the other side of the microphone responded dryly, "I can get you an iced water. That sounds good."

Alk, who seemed taken aback by the sassy reaction, looked at the camera and said awkwardly, "Well, can you just make me something that sounds good?"

@kristenalk The barista did NOT pass the vibe check? #starbucksbarista #baristastarbucks #rudebarista #starbucksfail #starbuckschallenge #surprisemedrink #surprisemestarbucks #starbuckssurprisedrink #starbucksbaristarecipes #badstarbucksvisit #challengegonewrong #gonewrong #pickmydrink #starbuckschallenge2023 ♬ original sound - kristenalk

Later, Alk claimed the barista "did not pass the vibe check." But she also admitted it was a busy day at the drive-thru, with a 35-minute wait for customers to get their order.

Related: Dad Pisses Off Thousands With TikTok Explaining How to Hack Disney Ride Height Restrictions for Kids

A divided response

The video has garnered nearly 6000 comments, with viewers split between being pro-barista or pro-Alk.

On one side of the divide, commenters seem shocked that a Starbucks employee would be rude to a customer. After all, as the old business mantra goes, "The customer is always right."

"Nooooo u should def email Starbucks 'cause that's not acceptable," wrote smhh..b.

"As a barista, please ask for surprise me drinks; they are always so fun. Sorry, she was so mean to u," wrote jimen

A Tiktok viewer named Syd joked, "That's some dunkin' behavior."

On the other hand, some commenters found the whole #surprisemetrend insensitive and presumptuous, especially during a busy time when baristas are just trying to get through their orders.

"I'm on the barista's side. There's nothing worse than someone coming during/right after a rush, asking for a surprise," wrote Chasia Binney.

"As a fast food worker, it's not that we don't want to make it, but we don't know what your taste is, and not only that some come back bc they don't like it," Rosie explained.

Perhaps both sides are right.

As Alk said diplomatically at the end of the video, "I feel like it was a little bit rude, but I do understand that it might be annoying when people don't just say what they want to order."

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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