It's no secret that Starbucks makes the ~fancy~ coffee. Besides the regular ol' cup of morning bean juice, the coffee chain has all the specialty drinks we love, like frappuccinos, flavored lattes, and refreshing teas. And just like anything, you get what you pay for — and it looks like we'll be paying more for it very soon. Starbucks is raising its prices, so better enjoy that caramel macchiato for all it's worth.
Fortune reported on Thursday, June 7 that the coffee chain was raising prices at about 8,000 locations in the United States by around 10 to 20 cents — which doesn't sound like a whole lot, but let's be real, we're all drinking enough Starbucks that the price increase will start adding up real fast. A tall coffee will now cost between $1.95 and $2.15, depending on location. However, it looks like costs on other drinks have stayed more or less the same (thankfully).
In a statement to Fortune, Starbucks blamed inflation for the price hike, saying that the company was "continually" re-evaluating prices. The statement said,
Evaluating prices periodically allows us to balance the need to run our business profitably while continuing to provide value to our loyal customers and to attract new customers. ... In the past year, Starbucks increased prices 1 – 2 percent, which is on par with the industry practices and is in line with food away from home inflation.
It may be "on par with the industry," but that extra 20 cents is an extra two dimes standing between me and my caffeine fix. And nothing should stand between me and my caffeine fix.
As Fortune notes, it's also the coffee chain's third price hike in three years, which is honestly kind of a lot, Starbucks. And I'm not the only one groaning. On social media, not everyone was thrilled.
Starbucks hasn't had the best few months when it comes to its public image, either. In April, the company saw an enormous backlash when two Black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks location when an employee reportedly called the police on them because the men hadn't ordered anything while they waited for a friend to arrive. The incident was seen as an example of racial profiling and the way people of color are excluded from public spaces, and drew heavy criticism.
After the incident, Starbucks apologized to the men and the public, calling it "reprehensible" and promising to take action. On May 29, the chain closed down many of its locations for a day in order to provide its employees with racial bias training to help avoid a similar incident in the future.
Politics aside, the company is also dealing with rumors about its soon-to-be-former chairman's potential foray into... well, politics, actually. On June 4, Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz announced that he was stepping down from his role at the company at the end of June — and at the same time, hinted that political office could be in the future.
“For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world," he said, according to The New York Times. He also avoided a direct question about whether he was considering running for president, telling the paper that he was "a long way from making any decisions about the future."
Basically, Starbucks has a lot going on right now. So, just saying, I wouldn't be too surprised if some things started falling through the cracks. Like, say, price hike? Come on, guys. Cut yourself (and us) a little slack.