Why Do They Always Spell Your Name Wrong At Starbucks? (+ Other Common FAQs)

Everywhere on social media (on Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook etc) you see Starbucks cups with the customer’s name spelt wrong; you may even have had this happen to you once or twice.

So, like many other people, you may be wondering, why do they always spell your name wrong at Starbucks? If you’d like to find out, read on for some answers!

Why Do They Always Spell Your Name Wrong At Starbucks?

Some believe Starbucks spells its customers’ names wrong as a marketing strategy for free publicity, as customers often share pictures of their cups with names spelled wrong, on social media. However, it’s usually because the baristas are rushed and busy, and it can be difficult to hear names accurately in a crowded store.

If you want to find out more about why Starbucks puts customers’ names on cups and how to get yours spelled right, keep reading to find the answers below!

Why Does Starbucks Put Names on Drink Orders?

Starbucks is famous for its customer-centered approach, and makes all kinds of efforts to give their stores a welcoming feel.

For example, you may have experienced this yourself if you’ve had a Starbucks barista ask for your name when you place your order and write it on your cup.

This policy was started in 2012 to create a more personal feel to every interaction between Starbucks staff and customers, and makes it easier for staff to match up drinks to customers, especially in a crowded store where there are duplicate orders of the same drinks.

However, from the beginning, Starbucks customers have been noticing that the baristas almost always spell their names wrong, and because of this, there’s a lot of speculation around whether they are doing this on purpose or not.

Does Starbucks Write Your Name Wrong On Purpose?

It’s become a social media trend to share pictures of your Starbucks cup with the name spelt wrong, on applications such as Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Facebook.

Due to this trend, many people wonder if Starbucks is purposefully doing this for free advertising?

However, Starbucks officially denies that they have a policy of asking baristas to spell names wrong, meaning that the company, in general, does not misspell names on purpose. 

Despite not intending to misspell names though, doing so in many Starbucks cafes has inadvertently given the company free social media promotion, which has both increased their reputation for making name blunders but also for their high-quality drinks.

Do Starbucks Baristas Really Misspell Names by Accident?

Do Starbucks Baristas Really Misspell Names by Accident?

According to former Starbucks baristas, Starbucks does not intentionally misspell customer names, but there are in fact many different reasons for this mistake to occur repeatedly.

Baristas will misspell customer names for the following reasons:

  • The baristas are busy and rushed (sometimes they write as many as 500 names on cups in one day) and are focused on getting orders out quickly
  • It’s difficult to hear shouted names correctly in a busy store, due to all the noise from the coffee grinders, music, and people talking
  • Your name is unusual or difficult to spell
  • You may have picked up someone else’s drink whose name and/or order is similar to you
  • An accent/language barrier may cause a barista to hear a name incorrectly, particularly if the store is busy and loud

However, it’s important to note that while Starbucks as a whole does not misspell names on purpose, individual Starbucks locations may do so in order to give their local cafe a fun reputation and increase foot traffic, though this is rarely approved by management.

How Do I Have My Name Spelled Correctly At Starbucks?

To avoid having their names spelled wrong, some customers will give easy to spell names like Tom and Lisa instead of their own names. However, this doesn’t guarantee a correct spelling.

However, a foolproof way to get your name spelled correctly is to simply download and use the Starbucks mobile app to place your order in advance.

This way, your name is printed on a sticker with information from the app, and it will be spelled correctly, exactly as you entered it when setting up your account.

What Are Some Misspellings Of Customer Names At Starbucks?

Whether it’s a marketing strategy or genuine mistakes, the funny spellings of customer names has become another Starbucks tradition.

In fact, you can find online compilations of classic misspellings at many sites, with nuggets like E.N. for Ian and Air Inn for Erin, with pictures.

What Is The Starbucks Name-On-Cup Generator?

As well as a social media sensation, the misspelt names at Starbucks have become a source of entertainment.

There’s even an online “What’s My Starbucks Name?” generator that you can use to see the hilarious changes to your own name or any other names that may occur for you.

If one wrong spelling isn’t enough for you, you can continue the game by choosing the “That’s Not What I Ordered” option for more.

To know more about Starbucks, you can also see ou related posts on when is Starbucks happy hour, what Starbucks drink has the most caffeine, and if Starbucks baristas make tips.


Starbucks baristas will often misspell names on customers’ cups for a number of reasons, such as the store being busy or because the barista can’t hear what the customer is saying.

Regardless of popular belief, Starbucks as a whole does not misspell names on cups as a method of free advertising. However, individual Starbucks stores may adopt the practice as a method of advertising their local franchise.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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