The (not so) secret MENUs

It’s a day like any other, you are queuing for your coffee at Starbucks, when suddenly, the person in line in front of you, orders a Butterbeer Frappuccino. “What?” You think to yourself. That’s exactly how everyone found out about secret menus. All jokes aside, secret menus are a real thing, that recently became more popular thanks to its spread on the internet and social media.


This is how it works: the choices when ordering our beverage don’t stop at what we see on the menu hanging behind the counter! There’s many more options to choose from, which we only may know when we look for said “secret menu” online or through word of mouth. Beverages more special and particular (sometimes also themed, as in Starbucks Harry Potter drinks), there’s one for everyone (literally). But let’s analyse the situation to find out the truth.

Is this the next marketing move or just a spontaneous phenomenon?

According to Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, it was something that just happened, without any encouragement whatsoever from management, but that they definitely support. Quoting an interview he did for ABC Network: “I never imagined it [the variety of creations possible with the same ingredients] and the secret menu that has developed as a result.”

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It’s said that the merit of this phenomenon is mutually shared between customers and employees. In the first case, we refer to students and teenagers that don’t regularly consume caffeine, because they’re still too young. This is a remarkable situation: the brand had gotten so big and so famous, creating a status symbol around itself, that non-targeted segments customized the products to enter the world of Starbucks.

On the other hand, of course employees must be praised for their willingness to meet with every request of the customers. Had even a few of them refused to fulfill some of the requests, the whole situation could have developed way differently.

But secret menus are not only available at Starbucks, one may find them also at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle and other fast foods.

We may never actually find out whether this is a genuine event or not, but still it proved that secrecy sells, and the consistent need for the customers to feel special, and -why not- even a little subversive.

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1- Caramel Apple Frappuccino(Starbucks) – a taste of childhood. The mix of caramel and apple is just the best we could ask for.

2- Suicide Burger(Burger King) – this is very brutal. It’s four beef patties, four slices of cheese, bacon and a speciale sauce.

3- Monster Mac(McDonald’s) – only for the brave. Have you ever had a Big Mac? Of course. But have you ever had one with eight beef patties? We think not.

4- The Cheesarito(Taco Bell) – just in the mood for a snack? We got you covered. Melted cheese, scallions, and taco sauce all rolled up inside of a soft tortilla is exactly what you need.

So go on and try! The best things come to those who take risks.


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