Starbucks computer glitch means boost in business for local shops

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — Many locals missed out on their favorite cup of Joe, Tuesday morning, after a computer glitch took down corporate coffee giant, Starbucks. Most all stores should be back online, but some local coffee shops say no sales at Startbucks meant a boost in business for them.

For some, grabbing a Starbucks latte on the way to work is like brushing their teeth. It’s automatic and an essential part of their day, but Tuesday, many locals were forced to find an alternative.

“I know people who go there three, four times a day,” said Albuquerque resident Erika Poindexter.

“I definitely hit up Starbucks multiple times a week,” said UNM student Gabby McGivern-Plaza.

Yet, those who stopped by expecting their favorite signature brew, found a sign posted out front, apologizing in advance. Customers couldn’t get their preferred drinks, but many locations did offer a free tall cup of Joe as consolation.

“I can imagine, at least, some of my friends were devastated,” said Poindexter.

It turns out, Starbucks computers across the country were down due to a routine update to store cash registers.

It left many searching for a substitute, and a line of cars a block away from the Nob Hill Starbucks revealed many found it at Limonata.

“Typically, in between seven and eight, it’s pretty quiet. It’s usually my quiet part of the day, but this morning, I got slammed pretty hard,” said Limonata employee Ahmed Benhalim.

Benhalim says this was one of the busiest days he’s had in the three years he’s worked here.

“There were the regulars, but a mix of new faces, as well,” he said.

McGivern-Plaza and Ana Sherwood-Ross stopped into Michael Thomas, just a block away from Limonata.

“There was a longer line for sure,” said Sherwood-Ross.

Employees at Humble Coffee, across the street from the Starbucks at Lomas and Washington, say they saw more customers than usual, too.

Even though it’s back to business as usual at Starbucks, other coffee joints hope they’ve won over a few, new customers.

“Hopefully, I did a good job this morning and we’ll see them again,” said Benhalim.

The small business boost even has Starbucks fans seeing the silver lining.

“If anything, it’s a plus for Albuquerque,” said McGivern-Plaza.

KRQE News 13 found more than 40 Starbucks in the Albuquerque metro area. No word as to whether they were all affected. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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