Is this the real reason Starbucks is misspelling your name?

What’s in a name? Well, if you are currently in Starbucks, it is possible your name has a lot of random letters in it.

Hilariously misspelled names on Starbucks drinks are a pillar of American society. There is a hashtag called #Starbucksfail. There are Tumblr pages dedicated to them. Even celebrities are not immune.

One barista wrote a special message on a cup for actress Shannon Purser (Barb from “Stranger Things”)!

So why is Starbucks so bad at spelling names? You can forgive the occasional “Lyndsay” instead of “Lindsey” or “Stephen” instead of “Steven.” But sometimes, I mean, come on, man:

This one is pretty bad:

And so is this one (Daved? Seriously?):

Well, the folks over at Super Deluxe think they know the real reason why. Their theory is that this is all an elaborate plan by the Starbucks marketing team:

Which, when you think about it, is diabolically brilliant. Lots of times when a name is misspelled, it gets put on social media. Then it gets shared and retweeted and liked until, all of a sudden, you really want a white mocha.

Now, Starbucks has denied they order their employees to butcher your name, but as long as they continue to mess up, this conspiracy theory will likely live on.

But is that the only theory? I, personally, have some other ones.


Rather than have the tried and true American size system of “small,” “medium,” “large,” “extra large,” and “DIABETES PLEASE,” Starbucks uses “tall,” grande” and “venti.” I have yet to successfully master it. Maybe messing up names is their way of getting back at us for refusing to learn their language.

Mumble Rap

I am not a big coffee drinker. So when I am ordering from Starbucks, it means my need of caffeine has reached critical levels. It is probably really early in the morning, and my brain and mouth are probably not functioning properly. I thought I said “Mitchell” loud and clear. But I probably just uttered random syllables, which is why I’ve gotten cups that said “Richard,” “Miller” and “Rachel.”

Brain Freeze

Being a Starbucks barista looks stressful. They have to deal with long lines of people ordering complicated drinks — and that was before they had to make unicorn frappuccinos.

So maybe them forgetting the second “r” in Jerry is because they were trying to remember your sugar-free double pump organic vanilla soy almond latte with two shots of espresso and whipped cream and room for milk and one of those fun little twisty straws.

Baristas Are Bored And Trying To Entertain Themselves And/Or Too Tired To Care

Actually yeah, I think it’s this one.