Starbucks Denies Drive-Thru Service to Birthday Girl on Horseback

What has this world become when you can’t ride your horse to get a frappuccino?

By Ethan L. Johns
March 06, 2018

Image: Tandy Cline/Facebook

Aspen Cline had one wish for her birthday: she wanted to go to Starbucks, and she wanted to do it while riding her horse, Scout. Unfortunately for her, the local Starbucks staff in Anthem, Arizona, had other opinions on the matter.

When Aspen and a friend made their attempt at the drive-thru to order two frappuccinos and some whipped cream for their horses, the voice at the other end of the microphone shot back a bitter denial and disappeared into the ether. The girls were left disappointed and thirsty for their favorite sweet beverages.

According to local news station ABC 15, the horse drive-thru maneuver had been on the teenager’s mind ever since she saw other people successfully do it in YouTube videos.

Yet the barista wasn’t interested in such horseplay. The company told ABC that the company’s official policy was drive-ins for cars only—a bitter blow for species’ rights activists everywhere. However, a spokesperson hinted that, in the future, a little heads-up would be more conducive to horseback service.

Since the story broke, Aspen’s mother, Tandy Cline, spoke with the district manager for the Anthem Starbucks. In her post on Facebook, she commented that the manager had addressed the issue with staff, and politely offered to welcome Aspen and her horse back for a drive-thru frappuccino.

Words of wisdom for Starbucks: a teenager on horseback is a cakewalk in comparison to a drunk vegan with a craving for chicken nuggets.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns