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There’s One Starbucks Branch That Will Never, Ever Get Your Name Wrong




  • Baristas here are not even allowed to ask names.
  • Customers are not entitled to loyalty cards, promos, and even accurate receipts.
  • Staff members are not allowed to bring their phones inside the store.

Anyone who orders at Starbucks on a regular basis knows that getting your name written wrong on your beverage cup has somewhat become an ordinary experience. In fact, there are some who believe that Starbucks does this intentionally, perhaps for free advertising or publicity because it does put them on social media.

Intentional or not, we can’t really tell, right? But here’s the thing: there’s one Starbucks branch that will never, ever get your name wrong.

It’s the one at Langley, Virginia, specifically at the headquarters of the CIA.

Yes, there is Starbucks right at the CIA HQ. At the surface, it looks and operates just like your regular Starbucks branch. They offer pretty much the same menu, even the secret code-like menu that the other stores use.

However, you can count on the baristas not to get your name wrong, because…they are not even allowed to ask for your name.

This is just one of the handful of policies that the store has to keep personal information safe.

The baristas at CIA Starbucks are expected to remember the faces of the agency staffers who order drinks and hand them their coffee without asking for additional information. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the importance of anonymity in the CIA circles.

Sure, the chances are very slim that an agent’s preference for hazelnut syrup or disdain for pumpkin spice will be used against him in an intelligence operation but hey, it’s better safe to be than sorry.

They are so strict that using silly nicknames that regular customers often use in ordering drinks are not allowed here.

As a food services supervisor at the CIA told The Washington Post:

“They could use the alias ‘Polly-O string cheese’ for all I care. But giving any name at all was making people — you know, the undercover agents — feel very uncomfortable. It just didn’t work for this location.”

The supervisor, of course, asked that his identity remain unpublished for security reasons.

So what other rules apply at the CIA branch? No Loyalty Cards, no accurate receipts. No Buy 10, Get One Free Program, because the agency officials are afraid that the stored data might fall into the wrong hands. The “receipt” they will get doesn’t even indicate the name or address of the store. It just says, “Store Number 1.”

As expected, the baristas who want to work there will have to go through a stricter hiring process. They have to undergo intensive background checks. Once hired, they have to leave their phones in their cars during their shift and they have to be escorted to the shop when coming from work and when they leave.

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