Starbucks is being sued by two customers for the offense of underfilling their lattes by 25 percent to cut costs on milk, their most expensive ingredient. The lawsuit was approved by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson on Friday.
“By underfilling its lattes, thereby shortchanging its customers, Starbucks has saved countless millions of dollars in the cost of goods sold and was unjustly enriched by taking payments for more product than it delivers,” the suit alleges.
According to the plaintiffs, Siera Strumlauf from San Francisco and Benjamin Robles from Carlsbad, Calif., Starbucks baristas use pitchers with low “fill to” lines to heat milk, leaving a quarter of an inch of free space in drink cups. Because of this, tall lattes are not 12 fluid ounces, grande lattes are not 16 ounces and venti lattes are not 20 ounces.
In response to the suit, a Starbucks spokesperson told Eater, “We are aware of the plaintiffs’ claims, which we fully believe to be without merit. We are proud to serve our customers high-quality, handcrafted and customized beverages, and we inform customers of the likelihood of variations.”
Another lawsuit against Starbucks is also in progress, accusing the chain of cutting costs by filling their cold drinks with mostly ice.