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 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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