SEATTLE, WA — In a move that seems destined to produce both increased interest and controversy, coffee giant Starbucks has announced the start of a new promotion in which customers will receive a free shot of espresso if they are able to correctly guess their barista's gender when placing their order.
"On the surface, it may sound rather straightforward," said Starbucks marketing representative Randi Savage in a press release unveiling the promotion. "However, with there now being so many genders — a nearly unlimited number, in fact — we feel confident that we won't have to worry about giving away too much free coffee."
Customers reached for comment outside a local Starbucks gave a mixed reaction to the promotion. "I guess it's a way to potentially score an extra shot of espresso for free," said Carson Moon. "And with inflation, that's like saving thirty bucks!"
Others expressed trepidation regarding the promotion, however. "Don't you know what happens these days if you don't guess someone's gender correctly?" asked loyal Starbucks customer Tate Kelly. "It's like a one-in-a-million chance of guessing it right! I'm not sure I want to risk getting canceled just to have a chance at a free espresso shot."
At publishing time, Starbucks continued to work on the fine print of the promotion's legal documentation, expected to also include a severe penalty of being banned from all Starbucks locations for life if the customer guesses incorrectly and misgenders the barista.
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