Starbucks is bringing back a promotion that baristas hate — but there's a catch

  • Starbucks is bringing back its Happy Hour deal and will expand the beverage options beyond Frappuccinos
  • Starting Thursday, the coffee giant will once again offer major discounts after 3 p.m.
  • Customers can keep track of what the specific deals are every day by using their Starbucks app. 

Starbucks is bringing back its beloved Happy Hour deal. 

On Tuesday, the coffee giant announced it will bring back Happy Hour this Thursday. For the first time, Starbucks is offering beverages beyond Frappuccinos as part of the deal, kicking off the promotion with 50% off any espresso beverage from 3 p.m. to close. 

Different Starbucks cups through the years:

Starbucks cups, different looks through the years
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Starbucks cups, different looks through the years
CHENGDU, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA - 2015/09/13: Coffee cup on table in a Starbucks cafe. Starbucks is streamlining the ordering process so customers are able to get that cup of coffee faster than usual. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A cappuccino coffee sits in a Starbucks Corp. Reserve cup, used for specialist coffee, on the counter at a Starbucks coffee shop in London, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Coffee futures fell the most in seven months after Colombia announced measures that will increase exports, spurred by the plight of farmers in the country who are dealing with drought conditions linked to the El Nino weather pattern. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BEIJING, CHINA - 2014/12/24: A paper coffee cup and Starbucks logo. Starbucks will continue its expansion in China in 2015 and double its China store count to 3,000 by 2019. In its first-quarter fiscal report, the coffee giant shows optimistic expectation for its robust expansion plans in 2015. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Starbucks employee writes a message on a cup of freshly brewed coffee at a local store in Washington, DC on December 26, 2012. Starbucks stirred the political pot Wednesday by urging its baristas to write 'come together' on its cups as a way to pressure US lawmakers to compromise on a deal to avert a year-end fiscal crisis. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said the American coffee giant was recommending its first-ever message on the side of tall, grande and venti (small, medium and large) drinks sold at its Washington stores as a way to help break the capital's gridlock on the so-called 'fiscal cliff.' Lawmakers and the White House have less than a week to work out a deal aimed at preventing tax hikes from hitting all Americans and a series of deep, mandated spending cuts from kicking in beginning January 1. AFP PHOTO/Eva HAMBACH (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
A Starbucks coffee cup is seen in this photo taken August 12, 2009. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI - JANUARY 18: In this photo illustration, the new Starbucks 31-ounce Trenta size ice coffee is seen on the right next to a tall cup of Starbucks coffee on January 18, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Starbucks rolled out the newest member of its lineup of drinks which is available only for Tazo shaken iced teas, iced tea lemonades and iced coffees. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMEBR 26: Starbucks Coffe Company's news product 'Starbucks Discoveries'(Espressso (L), Latte (R)) are seen during a preview party on September 26, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. 'Starbucks Discoveries' is the company's first chilled cup coffee product which will be available at convenience stores on September 27 in Japan with the same coffee beans used at Starbucks stores. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

Starbucks announced in January that it would not run its Frappuccino Happy Hour deal as it had in summers past, due to slumping Frappuccino sales.

"It really hasn't been worth it over the last two years and wouldn't be worth it this year," Starbucks CFO Scott Maw said of the promotion at a JPMorgan forum earlier in March.

Baristas historically hate Frappuccino Happy Hour, as it sparks a rush of Frappuccino orders during the middle of typically relaxed summer afternoons.

Frappuccinos are more time-intensive and complex to make, so expanding the deal to include different beverages could help address one of baristas' concerns about Happy Hour. 

The new deal also relies heavily on the Starbucks app. Customers will be notified of updated events and offers via their mobile apps or via email. 

"This evolution in Starbucks Happy Hour promotion is part of the company's ongoing strategy to strengthen digitally enabled customer relationships beyond its Starbucks Rewards loyalty program – which currently has nearly 15 million active users – creating a more seamless and relevant experience for all customers both in and outside of Starbucks stores," the company said in a statement. 

Earlier this week, Starbucks made it possible for all customers to order using their mobile apps. Previously, only Starbucks Rewards members with money pre-loaded into their accounts could use the chain's mobile order and pay system. 

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