It’s the Franken-Frappuccino! (Get a Frappuccino for $3 after 2 PM Oct. 29 – 31)

Starbucks has come up with a very spooky Frappuccino recipe, just in time for Halloween!! It’s the Frankenstein – oops! I mean “Franken Frappuccino.” It’s so scary, you might notice your barista’s terrified face as it’s handed to you:

2 - 1 - Brooke with Franken FrappuccinoI tried one last night and thought it was delicious but quite a treat! It’s a dessert in a cup!

2 - 1 - Franken Frappuccino 27 October 2014I wasn’t able to finish mine! It tastes a bit like peppermint – chip ice cream. If your local barista doesn’t know the recipe for a Franken Frappuccino, tell them this (this is only the size for the Grande):

  • Start with a green tea Frappuccino
  • Add java chips
  • Add 3 pumps of white mocha sauce
  • Add 3 pumps of peppermint syrup (and substitute that for the classic syrup – there’s no classic syrup in the Franken Frappuccino.)
  • Top with whipped cream and mocha drizzle.

Here are a few tips for you to have the best experience ordering as possible:

When ordering a Frappuccino, be sure to really call it a “Frappuccino” and not a “Frap” or a “Frappay” or a “Frappe,” I realize this is an incredibly small thing, but once in a blue moon, you will meet a barista who gets up in arms about hearing the word “Frappe” or “Frap.” I know it’s rare that anyone even worries about something so trivial, but the reason is this: A “Frappuccino” is a Starbucks-trademarked word, and a “Frappe” is a McDonald’s- Trademarked word. Those people who really love Starbucks might cringe a little when they hear their competitor’s product name. (There must be better things to worry about.) Again, I know that none of this is worth getting high blood pressure over. But just so you’ll have the best ordering experience possible, say the word “Frappuccino” in full. It’s okay if comes out kind of pronounced, “Frapp-ah-chino.” The reality is that people generally don’t pay a lot of attention to what is a trademarked word in their normal everyday vocabulary. So while all of this seems like a small thing, the emotions around it are born out of a love of all things Starbuckian!

Next tip for ordering your Frappuccino: Please know what you are ordering and be able to say it out loud. What you should never do is just say, “I want a Strawberry Shortcake Frappuccino” and nothing more, and then expect the Starbucks barista to know what you want. Also, do not shove your phone at your local barista. I know just where the temptation to do this comes from – it makes sense. You’ve got a drink that is hard to order and it seems like it would be much easier for the barista just to read the directions. But what you should do is first try to say the drink, and if that doesn’t work, politely ask, “Do you want to see the recipe on my phone?” So for the Strawberry Shortcake Frappuccino (which I do find a pain to order and baristas almost always end up wanting to look at my phone) you might say this: “I’m ordering a very modified Grande strawberries and creme Frappuccino – It has strawberry juice to the first line of the cup, milk to the second line, 3 scoops of vanilla bean powder, 3 pumps of white mocha sauce, 2 pumps of toffee nut syrup, with creme base and both ice and whipped cream actually blended in, then topped with whipped cream.”

Third tip when ordering a heavily modified Frappuccino: do not be alarmed when it has a big price tag. You might want to consider using one of your MyStarbucksRewards on the drink. The modifiers will add up. For example, things like White Mocha Sauce, and Java Chips are always a cost to add in.

And the last tip for a great Frappuccino experience: leave a tip for your baristas. Frappuccinos happen to be pretty labor intensive and in any case, I’m sure your local baristas would appreciate a tip.

Come in to Starbucks October 29 – 31st after 2:00 PM and you can order any Grande size Frappuccino for just $3.00!! Now is your chance to try that Franken Frappuccino – just in time for Halloween!



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  • DaveZ

    Nope, sticking with “frap” – customer is always right. Not to mention a large percent of baristas also call it a frap. Maybe that’s why corporate is involved. 😉 I will, however, reconsider my position if they ever bring back the original Frappuccino which is indeed THE Frappuccino. I miss the original.

  • Kristen

    Thank you, Melody, for educating our customers :) you da real MVP.

  • Melody

    @DaveZ – I agree – it just shouldn’t matter whether you call it a “Frap” or whatever. You’re right many baristas do call it a Frap. The only thing that I’ve seen (by reading Facebook comments) that there are a small percentage of baristas who want the full name. But lordy, if you say “Frap” the baristas will know what you mean – so keep saying it!

  • Alissa

    Thank you, Melody! For everything you wrote about frappuccinos! Really, you nailed a lot of our issues. Thank you.

  • Nicholas

    Melody I think I love you! At first I cringed when I saw this post. But as I read it I was like THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

    Frappaccinos are a tricky thing and that secret menu is well, there aren’t enough words. So hearing the lesson on a frappaccino ordering was a breath of fresh air.

    When ever I have a customer start to order off their phone I usually politely ask to see their phone so I can write the recipe correctly.

    But once again thank you and hugs for this post!

  • Melody

    @Nicholas – You’re welcome!!!

  • Sherry

    I’m okay with “frap” even though I don’t normally use abbreviated words myself. But I can’t stand the sound of “frappé.” It just sounds so…redneck-ish.

  • Melody

    @Sherry – I think generally, “Frap” goes over better than “Frappe” but to be safe, I always use the full name. Thank you for the comment!

  • Julie

    I’m glad you explained how a person should order a modified drink and I’m not even a barista. lol I belong to some couponing groups on Facebook and last night the admin on one of them posted a link to a “Starbucks Secret Menu” website (which has nothing to do with couponing, but not the point for this). I wrote a long comment with basically the same info you did – write down the recipe for the drink and expect to pay more for it. I get a better Starbucks experience if I am not stuck in line behind someone ordering a Banana Nut Tutti Frutti Frappuccino and that someone doesn’t know what’s in it or the recipe. And even worse if they stand at the counter to try and look it up on their cell phone.

  • Claire

    I’m pretty excited that we are getting involved in the holiday! I made some candy bags for my partners. I usually put out candy for our customers but since I’m just working setup for soft launch for 4 hours on Friday I skipped this year.

    And yes, thank you so much for a lesson in Frappuccino ordering. I too like when I can just read it from the secret menu, but I hate when people just shove stuff in my face. It’s along the same line as those people that just respond with “Tall Coffee” when you greet them with a “Hello, how are you?”

    I think adding white mocha AND peppermint is a bit too much for this drink. Matcha, peppermint, white mocha, and java chips is a very labor intensive drink and is way too sweet.

    Great post!

  • Cyn Taylor

    Just a suggestion on this! It will be incredibly sweet. If you drop to 1 pump of each syrup and no classic that will still be really sweet. The peppermint is more than enough to carry the sweetness on its own. 😀 Also 3 pumps of peppermint in a grande green tea frappuccino is way to overpoweringly pepperminty, imho.

  • Eileen

    Personally I think that when a new “designer” flavor comes out, each Starbucks should have a 3 ring binder where they could put these recipes. Then when a customer orders them, they could just go to the book and look it up. Or have a system where all they have to do is look it up on a online recipe app that the company could develop for them. Seems a lot easier than having to show them my phone all the time. One Starbucks I went to, the Barista knew how to make a special flavor, at the next one, they did not. Seems to me that there should be some kind of system in place! To me, as a customer of Starbucks, I would think they would not only want to make me happy but their Barista’s as well.

  • Chile

    Years ago, Starbucks sold a refill travel cup that had a clear plastic slot around the cup that held a removable slick paper liner. They sold different liners so that people could switch up the look. Well, I designed and printed my own liner that looked just like the side of a Starbucks cup with all the little boxes. I used a Sharpie to write down my usual drink order – which at the time was a modified soy vanilla latte – and slipped the liner into the cup. Then when I handed a barista my refill cup, all the drink information was right there. Every single barista that saw it LOVED the idea.

    Starbucks should bring back that travel cup in hot and cold versions along with a pack of blank cup side liners. People can ask a barista to fill it out for them the first time they order a customized drink and then it will make it super easy for everyone whenever they want that drink again. Do this for each customized drink and switch them out as desired.

  • dc

    I have not seen an email about this Frappuccino deal other than this blog. Is it officially out there and what size drink is $3?

  • Melody

    @DC – This is a real promotion. After 2 PM, any Grande size (16 ounces) Frappuccino for just $3, October 29 – 31st. These promotions are often limited to company-operated Starbucks stores only, so if you visit a licensed Starbucks (like a Target or Safeway Starbucks) it’s possible that they won’t be participating.

  • Sarah

    It was not $3 when I went today.

  • Sarah

    I just read the comment above mine. Oooopss

  • Rosa

    As a barista, I can tell you that these “designer” frappuccinos, with the exception of the Frankenstein Frappuccino, are all customer-created internet-spread recipes that vary wildly from site to site. Expecting Starbucks to keep a book or binder full of the hundreds (probably thousands by now) of Pinterest/Tumblr/Facebook drinks, with every variation indexed and constantly updating is ridiculous and a lot more labor-intensive than asking those who want to order the beverages to simply read the recipe to their barista or show them it on their phone.

  • Amy

    This is a real Frappuccino that’s being offered by Starbucks. You don’t need the recipe because it is NOT a secret menu item. It’s a promotional drink being offered for Halloween and we have a discount code for it so the customer doesn’t have to pay for all the modifiers.

  • Melody

    @Amy – I get that this is a real drink. But it’s useful to note that it’s expensive because it certainly can happen that there will be customers who order it outside of the promotional time frame. And it can’t hurt to have the recipe. There are 12,000 US stores and while we hope that everyone is 100% perfect, it is possible that a store here or there will have missed it – better safe than sorry. Anything is possible. In fact, I was surprised to read an ABC news story today – it was an ABC news journalist ordering the drink and the register barista asked for the recipe.

    I had hoped that my information about Frappuccino ordering tips would be useful to customers long after this promotion is over. :)

  • Olivia

    Barista here. The frappuccino promotion that started today was kind of a headache. We got a set of instructions for the franken frappuccino and how to ring it into the POS system so the customer can get the discount. However, when I did it for the first time, it only took 60 cents off the drink instead of giving the correct price. The discount code (2107) doesn’t seem to be working properly. Has anybody else had this issue?

  • Mark Bach

    Apparently my store in AZ didn’t know about the promotion for after 2 PM. Was this a regional event?

  • Chile

    I got a $3 Franken Frappuccino today in Tucson. The $3 Frappuccino deal is only at the corporate stores here, not at the licensed ones.

  • fran

    True ..i work at a starbucks inside kroger and i had a customer come in and ask about the 3 dollar frapp i had no idea what she was talking about lol

  • Mae

    As a Starbucks barista, I can tell you that we have a recipe book. Drinks from the “secret menu” are not in our recipe book because they’re not released by Starbucks company. NOT all Starbucks are the same, some franchised ones don’t have these “designer drinks”.

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    • Melody

      @Mae – Just so you know, in the US and Canada & almost all Starbucks markets (there are some weird exceptions in the UK), there are no “franchised” Starbucks. Words like “Franchised” and “licensed” have real distinct meanings. A “franchise” is like an ownership interest – the owner gains almost total control of whatever the thing is – so when you own a car, for example, you get to do with it what you want. A “licensed” Starbucks is a legal permission – if you had permission to drive a car, you could operate it, but you still might have to answer to the owner for many things.

      Howard Schultz, in his book Pour Your Heart Into It, on about pages 172 – 173 describes why he knew that he only wanted to offer licenses to operate a Starbucks business and not a franchise to own. He knew the loss of control over a franchise would be a harm to the brand.

    • Kristen

      Yep. We just used 31.

    • JoAnn Hart

      Hey there is another drink from Starbucks that I get made. I call it the chocolate covered strawberry Frappuccino. Of course it is a strawberry creme Frappuccino with mocha chips blended in. It is so delicious!

    • Thomas

      Tastes awesome just bought two for $5.91 great deal imo

    • Melody Dilworth

      I just had to comment because my name is Melody as well & I love Starbucks lol :)

    • Danielle

      The original formula had so much nasty stuff in it… not that the new Frappuccinos are “healthy” per se, but they got rid of the high fructose corn syrup and a lot of the chemicals. Thankfully, they’re NEVER bringing back the old recipe!

    • Danielle

      Also, as a former Starbucks barista, I would love to explain how much baristas LOATHE customers who come in and order a “secret menu” drink by name… there is no ACTUAL secret menu (a la In N’ Out), just “drink modifiers”. You could add every syrup to every drink you want (I don’t suggest it though, it tastes disgusting… but now you know what baristas do when we’re having a slow day). A lot of times, “secret drinks” will have the same name, but different recipes, depending on who made it for you first. A “Cap’n Crunch Berries” Frappuccino has at least 3 different versions from what I have heard. I’ve always preferred it the simple way though, just STCF + HN syrup!

    • Crystal

      I went to a Starbucks (standalone store, not in Safeway, Target, etc) yesterday and ordered this – cost me over $6!! Not impressed. It was pretty tasty, but I wouldn’t pay $6 for it again.

    • Crystal

      I had to pay for all the modifiers yesterday :(
      Spent over $6 for a grande – not super impressed.

    • Julie

      @Crystal, Was it after 2pm? It’s only $3 after 2. If it was, call customer service and see if they can help.

    • Mark Bach

      My receipt shows that I bought a Frap so …. it’s a frap for me too

    • Shamnon

      Since the customer is always right I suggest you take my order as I read it from MY phone and don’t worry about if I say frap, frappe, or frappuccino. As a Starbucks cashier it’s your job.

    • Melody

      @Shannon – In a perfect world, you’re 100% right. In fact, in a perfect world, baristas would never give worse service to a customer they thought was rude – such as the rare, rare stories you’ll hear of decaffing or expired shots. You would never be able to do that if you were a nurse, teacher, doctor or a lawyer. You’d lose your license to practice law or medicine. You still have to give all your clients the best, all the time. And so this thing where a customer says “Frappe” or “Frap” or “Frappuccino” shouldn’t even be thing.

      One Seattle barista wrote on the Facebook page: “Starbucks paid a lot of money for the name ‘frappuccino’ and I expect my partners to call it that because the products are truly different. However, when it comes to customers, they can call it whatever they want. The only time I correct a customer is if they ask me for a milkshake, because technically we don’t make those.”

      So long as baristas can understand what you want, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Starbucks needs customers.

      But we don’t live in a perfect world. 99% of life’s problems center around people trying to control one another. Baristas trying to control how customers order. And I can’t control how baristas react to you, and just in case you meet one of the rare baristas that hates the word “frappe” I’m trying to help you have the best experience possible. Take it or leave it.

      The phone thing has a logical piece to it: Technically, I don’t think the partners are supposed to hold onto your phone. And if you shove a phone towards someone, it doesn’t mean they’ll be able to read the tiny print. I know I would have to find the right distance from eyes to be able to read it!

      I am a customer advocate. I definitely come from the era of the customer is always right. I don’t believe in arguments at the register. I think a store has missed the mark when a customer walks away angry or disappointed. Starbucks built its brand on customers walking away from the stores “enthusiastically satisfied all of the time” (that was literally how partners were trained from say about 1990 to 2011) I think the customer is *mostly* right. And the goal for partners should be “enthusiastically satisfied” customers. I still to this day think the Eddie Bauer mission statement gets it right. “To give you such outstanding quality, value, service and guarantee that we may be worthy of your high esteem” Written in the 1920s, it is still the Eddie Bauer mission statement. What all this means is that baristas should use whatever tools they have (RNR, CSR, LATTE method of diffusing a situation) to make a situation right. They do that, they’ll see their stock in the company soar! 😉

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