Starbucks cash-register glitch takes down 8,000 coffee shops in N. America, leads to free lattes

Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
A computer glitch in Starbucks’ point-of-sale register system on Friday night caused many outlets to stop accepting payments. But for some customers the outage resulted in free coffees.

Some 7,000 outlets in the US and 1,000 in Canada were affected by the disruption, which followed a daily software update. The crash extended to all kinds of payments, including cash and credit cards.

“We are actively working to resolve the outage,” Starbucks said in a statement on its website. “We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience or confusion and will update this statement once systems are back online.”

While many customers complained about the closure of Starbucks outlets, others boasted about getting free drinks, which the chain’s employees started giving out after payment problems arose.

The outage was resolved in a matter of hours and all outlets are expected to open as usual on Saturday, the company reported.