March 8 (UPI) — A Starbucks in Arizona allowed a teenage girl to order from the drive-thru while riding her horse Wednesday, days after she was turned away.
Aspen Cline, 14, and a friend planned to celebrate her birthday by riding their horses through the Starbucks drive-thru in Anthem to order a Frappuccino on Saturday.
“It’s something that I really just wanted to do it for my birthday, it’s not a thing that I’ve done before,” Cline said. “It’s just something I’ve been wanting to do for probably four years.”
As they approached the drive-thru speaker to carry out what they believed to be a harmless surprise, a Starbucks employee informed them they could not be served.
“We hadn’t even made it up to the window when we were turned down and all we were told was ‘actually, I can’t take your order,’ and we weren’t given a reason why,” Cline said.
Cline’s mother Tandy Cline said they “didn’t want to cause a scene” and promptly left the Starbucks, but later made a Facebook post about the incident promising to boycott the coffee chain.
A Starbucks representative said the employee was “thinking from a safety perspective,” but added animals such as horses are allowed to pass through the drive-thru under some circumstances.
“While the drive-thru is intended for motor vehicles, if a customer has a special request we ask them to just give us a call beforehand,” the representative said.
After Cline’s story gained national attention a Starbucks district manager reached out and agreed to allow her the opportunity to ride her horse through the drive-thru.
Cline was disappointed the surprise factor was lost, but was happy to have the opportunity to fulfill her birthday wish.
“It was really nice to see that somebody cared enough to make this happen and to decide to go out of their way to make this happen for two small-town girls who just wanted to ride their horse through a drive-thru,” she said.