Thursday, April 6, 2017

13 things baristas everywhere are begging you not to do.

hi friends.

as many of ya'll know, i am a barista.
out of all the jobs i've had (i haven't had many), this has been my favorite. i've truly enjoyed learning the art of traditional coffee, meeting new people, making new friends, and having my co-workers feel like family. i've been very blessed with this job and the opportunities that have risen from it.

there is one set back about being a barista; it is part of the food and beverage industry.
of course you're thinking, "well DUH caroline. coffee is a beverage. most coffee shops sell food. this is obvious."

i know.

trust me.
i've been in the industry for a hot minute. 

i'm fully aware.

what i mean is that being in the food and beverage industry has it's issues. mainly those issues are with the people that come into the establishment. and sometimes, that's where i've had most of my issues...

which leads me to inform the general public of some guest-to-barista etiquette.

 i have taken the responsibility of compiling a list for those who frequent the coffee houses and shops and chains.

1. please do not start off your sentence with " i want" or "i need".
 especially if i am kind enough to ask you how you are before i ask what you would like. usually i care how people are. i genuinely want to know how your day has been. 
humor me.
also, you do not need coffee unless you're feeling dead to the world and even then manners are so key. and sometimes, you can't always get what you want, the rolling stones remind us of this. even they know this fact of life to be true. sorry to disappoint.

2. please do not make a stink over the fact that we don't have the coffee/ tea you like that particular day. 
it's a crazy thought, but it's possible for that particular brew, flavor, or tea is empty and we need to refill it.
 or we are done for the evening with that option.
or we are just plan out of it.  
but it's also all about cost of food and waste. if we are out, usually we are waiting on a shipment. if it's empty around nine thirty and the shop closes at ten, chances are, for the sake of not wasting valuable product and money, we may not make it again til the following morning. having a tantrum and giving the barista a hard time isn't going to solve any of these issues, it's just going to make us serving you that much harder. 

3. if you come in at the same time every day and are used to seeing the same barista on those days, please do not make the fill in barista scheduled that day feel less then or think they don't know how to make your drink of choice. we have been trained to make you coffee. just because i am not
  your favorite barista 
and cannot start your drink as soon as i see you, does not mean i can't make your drink. 
just be patient. you won't die from having to speak a few extra words.
calm down.

4. do not ask me if we have coffee.
i will never understand this question. you are the one who walked into a coffee shop, what do you think we are going to serve you, grass? no. are your senses off? can you not smell the coffee when you walk in? did you not read the sign before walking inside? do you go about life in complete oblivion? if you ask me this question, expect your drink to magically turn into decaf and slightly sarcastic response. no waking up for you for asking such silly questions. just stop.

5. please read the menu before ordering,
 unless your drink is basic enough, in order to know for sure what you want. 
please read the menu
this saves many questions, disappointment, and frustration. it is key to know that not every coffee shop, whether locally owned or a chain, is the same. we may not carry everything that your coffee shop at home has. we may not have coconut milk like the shop up the street has, but i can promise that the non-dairy milk we do have, it's listed on our beautifully drawn chalkboard menu. and that menu took a lot of time and energy.

(this goes along with number five BUT) 
6. please do not assume you can add literally ANYTHING to your drink.
i know places allow very flexible customizations to drinks, especially their smoothies and protein shakes (if they even carry those), but not every place does that. some menus are customizable within reason and some are just what you see on the board. so again, please read the menu or AT LEAST get a general idea of the menu before ordering. everything will go very smoothly after that. and i will do my best to get you the drink you want. 
within reason.

side note, please don't think i'm not willing to answer your question. I AM. however, if it has to do with menu items and is not allergy related, READ THE MENU FIRST, then come order.

also along with menu reading,
7. please make a decision 
or at least have an idea of what you want or narrow down what you would like before you order. do not come to the counter completely undecided ESPECIALLY if there is a long line. you're holding everyone and everything up and it's super awkward for me to stand in front of you silently while you graze through each option.

8. please learn the name of your drink. 
listing random ingredients that we may or may not have is time consuming. 
example- hot chocolate with a shot of espresso are the ingredients of a hot mocha. there is no nee to list them. this is not a different drink. a frappe latte' is not a thing AT ALL. it is, in fact,  two different drinks. one of them being ONLY frozen. the other is typically hot. if you're willing to pay for both, i'll make you both, but combining the two is nearly impossible. you'll end up with a melted, weird drink and your hopes are dreams taken away from you.

9. please wait your turn for your drink. 
be aware of who is around you. no one is too tired to notice that there are other people waiting for their drink before you. if you ordered a small cappuccino, that medium latte i just made is 
not. for. you.  
don't jump the line because you can't pay attention. 
that's rude. 
you are not God's gift to me just for providing your business. 

10. please do not tell me how to make your drink. 
unless you went to barista college in the mountains of italy and have hand picked beans straight from coffee plantations in brazil, let me do my job to provide you the best coffee and experience possible. i promise i know what i'm doing. this is especially true if your used to drinking those "cappuccinos" from the machines in gas stations. i hate to break it to you, but as one who used to frequently consume gas station "cappuccinos", those things are awful for you, and there is no actual coffee in them, rather just caffeine and sugar. if you come in ordering a vanilla cappuccino, you'll get one, just not what you expected only consuming that fake stuff.

11. please do not come into a local shop and order in starbucks lingo. 
now before i go on, i want to make something very clear. this is not a dig at starbucks. i too frequent there. i too have a decent dosage of basic white girl in my system. however, i know when to shut it on and off. if you walk into starbucks, certain phrases and words are fine. in fact, they are encouraged! but those phrases (i.e. the names for their sizes) do not work in a locally owned place. i will, kindly, repeat your order back you in the correct for the environment manner. and do not correct me because in this scenario, the barista is right and the guest is wrong. 

12. please, if you are going to move the furniture around, 
put it back when you are done. 
as baristas, we have many things that are necessary for us to do rearranging the already perfectly placed furniture is not one of them. if you meed to add chairs to a table? 
go ahead! 
have a party!
 put them back when your done.
want to move a comfy chair over by the couch because all three of your friends are sitting there and you want to be near them? 
cool stuff bro-ham! 
move that chair! 
fellowship with your friends! 
but put that chair back when your done or so help me, i'll give you decaf.

 if you're on a date and spending some special time with your significant other, 
13. do not do nasty things on my furniture. 
first of all, gross. 
get a room. 
second of all, there are cameras in practically every food establishment, especially one pointed at that couch that your trying to snoodle on.
 we see you. 
we don't want to see you.
 third, have some decency.
 leave that kind of PDA for private. 
no one wants nor needs to see that. 
get out of here with that crap.

man, it feels really good to get that all off my chest. 

like i said before, i love my barista job.
 but i love it even more if people are willing to cooperate. 
are there any baristas out there with pleas for the general public? 
leave them in the comments! i'd love to hear about them!


Bridget Sorteberg said...


My plea is that you don't come into a local shop and order an iced cappuccino. I hear Tim Hortons has them? But especially in the US and Europe they don't exist as far as I'm aware because that would make it an iced latte as cappuccinos are lattes with extra froth. ��

Cassandra/By His Grace, said...

Well I finally got around to reading your blog and I am thinking I picked a good one. On point my friend. Good job!