Fact Check

Starbucks #WelcomeRefugees Promotion

An image showing a promotion at Starbucks that exhorts customers to provide the name "Aloha Snackbar" is not genuine.

Published Jan 31, 2017

 (Savvapanf Photo / Shutterstock, Inc.)
Image Via Savvapanf Photo / Shutterstock, Inc.
Starbucks offered free drink upgrades to customers who provided the name "Aloha Snackbar" to their baristas.

In January 2017, not long after Starbucks announced that it planned on hiring 10,000 refugees over the next five years in response to President Donald Trump's immigration ban, an image appeared purporting to show a #WelcomeRefugees promotion from the company:

Say yes to hiring refugees.

Enjoy a COMPLIMENTARY UPSIZE for your handcrafted beverage purchase when you provide the name "Aloha Snackbar" to your barista.


The image was also posted to the r/The_Donald section of Reddit on 31 January 2017, along with messages encouraging other members to spread it on social media to see if people would fall for it:

Best memes are when the enemy spreads it, and this one is a go for the libtards to love.

Nimbly navigated!

This image is, of course, a hoax. It is based on a real Starbucks advertisement from 2014; whoever created the fake #refugeeswelcome promotion simply deleted the original text of the genuine Starbucks advertisement (which offered upsized drinks with the purchase of IMAX tickets) and substituted their own.

The biggest mistake in the hoax advertisement is that the letter "y" in the word "say" is missing its lower half:

starbucks ad

Providing the name "Aloha Snackbar" to your barista will not net you a free upsize, nor will it do anything to help refugees anywhere in the world.


Escosia, Matthew.   "Free Upsize Treat From Starbucks and IMAX!."     The Film Geek Guy.   2014.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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