Did you know that Starbucks gives their employees a food perk? When Starbucks partners (Starbucks calls their employees, ‘partners’) work a shift, they get a food benefit. They get to ‘mark out’ or essentially get one free thing to eat of their choosing for their shift. All of the free food perks get processed through the register. Starbucks collects data via the registers on all kinds of things related to food, coffee, and drink sales, including what’s popular with their partners.
So what are Starbucks baristas ‘marking out’ and eating the most of? Here are the top 5 Starbucks food items by popularity with partners – this data comes straight from the headquarters!
The number one marked out food item by Starbucks baristas is the Bacon Gouda & Egg Breakfast Sandwich. Starbucks describes this as “Sizzling Applewood smoked bacon, melty aged Gouda and a Parmesan frittata are layered on an artisan roll for an extra smokey breakfast goodness.”
I took the above pic of the Bacon Gouda & Egg Breakfast Sandwich at the East Olive Way Starbucks in Seattle. I sat down at 8:00 AM to meet up with a friend (who is also a partner) who would show me a few Pokemon Go pointers and tips. I’m no expert at that game. She arrived a moment after me, and sat down with the very same breakfast sandwich on her plate! The partner said that this is top selling breakfast item at her store.
It’s delicious. It is a tiny bit salty tasting but the whole sandwich is delicious. It’s savory with a soft, delicious bread and it is smoked goodness. It’s not my go-to breakfast item, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The second most popular food item with partners is the Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar and Egg Sandwich. Starbucks describes it as “Thick-cut bacon is slow-smoked for 10 hours over hardwood, then stacked with a fluffy egg patty topped with a creamy melted slice of sharp cheddar cheese on our signature croissant bun.”
This thing is very delicious. It’s filling though. I only turn to this breakfast sandwich in the mornings if I’m especially hungry.
The third most popular food item among your baristas is the Protein Bistro Box. This is in fact my own go-to breakfast item. Over the years, I’ve eaten a lot of Protein Bistro Boxes. It’s pretty healthy, filling, and delicious. You get a couple of slices of apple, grapes, a hard-boiled egg, and small multi-grain roll with Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter.
The picture I took here doesn’t do it justice. The grapes are easy to snack on while you work. The apple slices and cheddar are delicious. And I love the peanut butter on the multi-grain bread. Inside the bistro box is a tiny packet of salt and pepper for your hard boiled egg. My pro tip for you is to ask for a plastic knife with this one to cut the hard boiled egg.
I enjoy the Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter, I started buying it at home for things like carrot sticks and peanut butter.
This comes in plastic. When you’re done, be sure to throw the plastic box into your city recyclables bin!
The fourth most popular food item for your baristas to mark out is the Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Panini.
This is also a delicious one. I’ve had it many times. It’s been around for years at Starbucks. This one is described as “Roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, spinach and basil pesto on toasted focaccia.
I needed a photo of this delicious sandwich. I was at the Starbucks at 505 Union Station in Seattle and noticed a partner ahead of me pick out this panini and head to the register with it. When she was handed it on a plate, I jumped in for a moment and said, “Would you mind if I took a quick picture of your food?” She looked at me and said, “It wouldn’t be the strangest thing I’ve been asked today.” I explained that I was writing an article on food at Starbucks, and she easily acquiesced to having her food quickly photographed. I have no idea who she was, and she didn’t know me, but she graciously allowed me to snap a photo of her holding her Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Panini, as she started her break.
The fifth most popular food item at Starbucks for your baristas to enjoy is the the Spicy Chorizo, Monterey Jack and Egg Breakfast Sandwich.
This is one of the newer entries into the breakfast lineup. Starbucks says this is “spicy chorizo, aged Monterey Jack cheese and a fluffy egg with caramelized onions, all served on a stone-baked potato bread.”
The sign above with the list is from the week June 13 – 19, 2016, and it includes all food items including bakery, lunch and breakfast. I was able to confirm this with Erin Shane of Starbucks media relations. I had quite a conversation with her about this list of seemingly ever-popular food mark outs by Starbucks partners. I wanted to look at another week’s worth of food mark outs, and so Erin came back to me with the data from the week of July 4th. And to my surprise, she said to me, “it’s the exact same.”
Now you know the hot food items that your local baristas like to eat.
Maybe you should try them too!
Keep in mind, you can use a Starbucks reward to try any of the above food items too!
Hi Grant! I’ve talked with a number of partners about this, and it looks (just anecdotally) that these top 5 items really are big time 5 favorites for partners! Thank you for weighing in!
I guess that Starbucks doesnt hire Celiacs then
Its a shame that they make no real attempt to feed the gluten free
Partners or customers…
Roasted tomato & mozzarella panini is my top favorite sandwich. They know my favorite sandwich to take home as is in a package, not cooked. Then @ my home I toasted it in my toaster for my breakfast with raw spinach to eat. Yummy.
Really? That’s funny. Not one Starbucks partner has ever recommended food to me. In fact, when I ask, they all make the same :/ face and tell me, ‘You know, none of this stuff is good for you. It’s all so greasy and fat-filled or loaded with sugar. Honestly, we buy food at McDonald’s on our lunch break.’ … And it’s true, they do. I see partners at all locations regularly ordering pizzas, bringing in KFC or McDonald’s or whatever, or running over to the Ralph’s across the street (there is a Ralph’s across the parking lot from two different Starbucks in my area) rather than eat anything, and I mean ANYTHING, from the Starbucks menu. Have you seen the nutrition facts for those breakfast sandwiches? I mean, ew. McDonald’s offers healthier food options, it’s sad.
@particlelover: good point, nutrition for all of these can be checked here: http://www.starbucks.com/menu
@Lesley: Did you see that this list is of the *top 5* most popular food items only? Maybe because people with celiac disease (or even those who might choose to avoid gluten for other reasons) are such a small part of the population, the gluten-free items wouldn’t be among the most popular – it doesn’t mean there are no such options. I did a quick search (http://www.starbucks.com/search?keywords=gluten) and some looking separately (http://www.starbucks.com/menu) and found the following gluten-free items:
(I think?) http://www.starbucks.com/menu/food/hot-breakfast/steel-cut-oatmeal
I love that bistro box so much I figured out how to duplicate it. Down to the bread. But I’m so time poor that having it ready to buy is a huge plus. I’ve eaten so much that I noticed that 7 grapes have now become 11 grapes and it is even more filling.
This was a fun read!
The double smoked bacon sandwich literally has the same calories and fat as a big mac…..
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I had a bacon gouda as my partner food benefit today! It’s deceptively tiny, I’m always so full after eating one.