50 Things Your Barista Really Wants You To Know

Starbucks Lessons
There are life lessons to be learned from working at Starbucks. Read More »
Restaurant Server Secrets
40 things your waiter really wants you to know! Read More »
Starbucks Stereotypes
What your drink order says about you. Read More »

If you’ve ever worked in a coffee shop, you know it can be a stressful, crazy, demanding job. You spend all day dealing with cranky customers, getting chocolate syrup in your hair, pouring mugs of boiling milk, trying to keep your cool when the espresso machine breaks during a rush, and going home smelling like coffee beans–all for minimum wage. I reached out to baristas who work for international coffee chains and artsy little coffeehouses (and everywhere in between), and asked them one question: “What do you wish you could tell everyone who walks into your coffee shop?” Here is what they said, in their own words…

How To Order

1. “Treat your barista like a human. Hang up your phone and take off your sunglasses when you talk to us.”

2. “If you’re not in a Starbucks, do not use Starbucks terminology.”

3. “Spend your time in line perusing the menu, not your phone. You will have plenty of time to check Facebook while we’re making your beverage.”

4. “You are going to have to pay for the items you ordered. Take out your wallet.”

5. “Seriously, GET OFF THE PHONE.”

6. “When I ask what size the drink is I am not asking you to say 1/2 caf grande vanilla nonfat light whip no foam mocha. I just asked for the size.”

7. “There are 15 people behind you, impatient, tired, and most likely late for something. I would love to hear your life story–after the rush.”

Waiting For Your Drink

8. “Things that are made by hand take time to be made correctly. If you can’t curb your impatience, make it yourself at home.”

9. “Do not complain, or look at your watch, or sigh loudly so I will notice how annoyed you are that we are ‘taking too long.’ I did not make you come to Starbucks this morning, it’s not my fault you were late getting out of the house, and believe me the last thing I want is to keep you here longer than you need to be.”

10. “I would love to chat with you while I make your drink, but if I have a ton of drinks to make or a line out the door, I’ll probably need to concentrate.”

11. “If I put a lot of creativity and passion into what I am doing for you, it’s because I’m trying to do a good job, not trying to be snobby.”

12. “Staring at me while I make your drink won’t make me go faster, and I most likely will mess up because your scary eyes are freaking me out.”

Picking Up Your Order

13. “Remember what you ordered: if you ordered a small hot coffee, don’t reach for the XXL sized iced beverage on the hand-off plane.”

14. “My biggest barista pet peeve was when people would pick up a drink from the counter during a rush and just say, ‘Is this mine?’ to the barista on bar. Ummm … maybe? I don’t know who you are or what drink you had because I didn’t take your order and I’ve been kinda busy busting my ass to make all these drinks as fast as possible.”

15. “If the coffee place you go to puts your name on the cup, make sure it’s your coffee before you take a sip. How hard is that?”

16. “If you don’t like what you ordered, LET US FIX IT! If your steak was under-cooked at a restaurant, you’d let the server take it back to the kitchen. People say all the time, ‘This drink is wrong!’ and then walk out in a huff without letting me fix their drink. The barista generally wants to make sure that you get what you ordered.”

17. “Even during a rush, I always notice when people say ‘Thank you,’ when they pick up their drink, and I always appreciate it.”

Common Courtesies

18. “Just because you haven’t had your coffee yet, doesn’t mean you get to be rude.”

19. “Respect your barista. They were probably up WAY before you, they are probably either working two jobs or in school, and honestly, they want you to get your perfect drink the first time. It’s our job, yes, but we do take pride in our ability to handcraft your drink.”

20. “Don’t come in five minutes before closing and order the most complex drink ever, because chances are I’ve already cleaned all the equipment and I’m going to want to kill you.”

21. “Don’t take it out on us when you’re grumpy and we aren’t. We’ve had a lot of caffeine, and get paid better when we’re friendly.”

22. “Don’t bitch about how [competitor] is better or how [current shop] sucks. That’s not just rude, but we hear it EVERY SINGLE DAY.”

23. “The worst is when we greet you with ‘Hi, how are you?’ And you reply, ‘Grande latte.’”

24. “Remember that we’re people, and not coffee automatons. If we put 2 sugars in instead of the 3.5 you ordered, go to the sugar station yourself and add in the extra. Sometimes we have off days, and there’s no reason to scream, yell, or spit at a poor soul trying to juggle 25 drinks in a busy store just because we misjudged a measurement.”

The Atmosphere

25. “Please don’t ask me to change the music — it’s the only thing I have control over here.”

26. “It’s not OK to ask me to turn the music down either.”

27. “You would not believe the things people do–and then leave for us to clean up–in Starbucks bathrooms. Have some fucking decency.”

28. “If you’re going to stay for hours and hours and hours, be prepared to buy something.”

29. “Please clean up after yourself. We put trashcans by the stirrers and sugar packets so you can dispose of your refuge. Don’t leave it on the counter, disintegrating into a pile of pap.”

30. “If you’re coming in every day, pushing three tables together and setting up a laptop, phone, and printer, you miiiiiiight want to consider renting an office.”

Tips, Pricing, And Payments

31. “Tip your barista: we don’t always have insurance or make more than minimum wage. People who work at coffee shops are students, parents, teachers, those who are educated who cannot find work. Not all of that ‘starving artist/useless’ stereotype.”

32. “My hand is out to collect your money, not for you to put it on the counter next to it.”

33. “Using a gift card is not an excuse not to tip.”

34. “Frankly, I think you should tip a dollar per drink, just like you would at a bar.”

35. “When you complain about the prices, look around you: you’re paying for the ambiance of the store just as much as you are the coffee. Is the store clean? Is it organized? Has it been remodeled in the last year? All of these things cost us money, which is reflected in the price.”

Just FYI…

36. “Be nice to people who make your coffee, we have a decaf button.”

37. “We are not here to babysit you or your children.”

38. “I really don’t want to be trying to sell you this bag of Breakfast Blend, but my manager is watching me so I have to.”

39. “Saying super specific temperatures like “178*” is not going to get you the exact temp you want. Stick with ‘tepid’ or ‘extra hot.’”

40. “If you’re a regular, and you take the time to get to know me, you’ll probably get free stuff.”

41. “I have no control over what pastries we have.”

42. “Don’t ask for a half pump of syrup, or any fraction of a pump. (If you’re obnoxious about it, I’ll give you two.)”

43. “Please ask for a ceramic cup if you’re planning to sit down and enjoy your drink. Even big chains have them, it will help you feel more European, and it really helps cut down on waste.”

44. “Don’t ever use the phrase, ‘That’s not how Starbucks does it.’ Starbucks bastardizes traditional espresso drinks like the macchiato. If you go into a real coffee shop and order a caramel macchiato, what you’re going to get is a little shot of espresso with a hint — a ‘mark,’ as macchiato means ‘mark’ in Italian — of milk and a little bit of caramel sauce. If what you had in mind was what Starbucks calls a caramel macchiato, you should order a caramel latte.”

Random Thoughts And Observations

45. “Don’t assume anything about the person making your drink. The people I worked with at Starbucks were some of the most hardworking, ambitious people I’ve ever met.”

46. “I would like to add that there are more nice customers than not … most people I encounter are really pleasant.”

47. “I get to know my regular customers so well that I get worried when they don’t show up a couple days in a row.”

48. “At my old store, all the baristas were constantly reminding each other, ‘It’s just coffee.’ Sometimes you need that reality check to not take it so seriously.”

49. “People are freaky about their foam.”

50. “Yes, we serve a ton of people every day, but all it takes is one amazing customer or one asshole customer to define our whole day. Which one would you like to be?”

Posted Under: , , , , , , ,
  • Zergnet: Simply Irresistible

  • HowAboutWe

  • afc-right-ad

  • Popular
  • afc-right-ad-2

  • We’re Loving