So how would you handle a customer who is incredably rude to one of your barista? Rude doesn't really cover it... The customer has passivly threatened the barista and clearly Just does not care for her and will tell anybody who will listen so. The customer complains about her drink quality and service when there is no lapse in rather involving the barista in question. And the customer keeps returning . Appreciate the business but.. At the expense of the barista's comfort??? WWYD?

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RE the entitlement to a free shot: "Corporate has taken notice of us giving away free shots all the time and it's not something I'm willing to risk my job over. I'm not going to be able to create exceptions for you where I cannot create them for everyone. We have other regulars who are more than happy to pay the prices that we have listed, and I am going to please ask that you respect our prices and not constantly put us in the tough place of simply giving you something without paying for it."

Having a backbone and being an a-hole can be different things.

If the customer doesn't like your drinks and is very vocal about it, ask the customer WHY. It's one of the simplest things you can do to show a customer that you are paying attention. "Why do you think my drinks don't taste as good? Is there too much _______? Not enough _______? Too hot/cold? I'm trying to make your drink the way you want it, but I don't seem to be gaining any ground with you... I want to make sure you like my drinks just as much as other people's."

It's a matter of giving glimpses of "hey... listen jerk" along with "common work with me here" that seem to be the most effective with problem customers in my experience.

Don't say things like, "have you noticed how big of pain 'Mary' is?" Instead say, "listen, I'm having problems dealing with Mary's attitude, it's effecting how I interact with other customers because she brings down my spirits SOOO much when she comes in... should we maybe talk to her? For example the other day ____...." and give an example of when she did something out of line.

Don't give up on the situation... work towards a resolution.

-bry
i have to throw this out there, but Aeryn, is it possible for you to just not make drinks for "Mary". as much as this may seem like avoidance, there's a big difference between slinking around avoiding someone and not engaging with a hostile customer (or person) for that matter.

you're the assistant manager, yes? simply have another barista make Mary's drinks from now on. through my eleven years in coffee service, i've had many customers like this, and you CANNOT win with them. they were regulars before you worked there, they liked the old barista better, people have been cowtowing to them for years, whatever the reasons this is a power trip they get to play daily; and win. they won't give up.

so my advice to you is to remove yourself from the situtation. find someone who makes drinks that Mary loves. and run with it.

i wish you best of luck and happy trails.

alex
Alexander,
Wise words, thank you,
Joe

alexander léger said:
i have to throw this out there, but Aeryn, is it possible for you to just not make drinks for "Mary". as much as this may seem like avoidance, there's a big difference between slinking around avoiding someone and not engaging with a hostile customer (or person) for that matter.

you're the assistant manager, yes? simply have another barista make Mary's drinks from now on. through my eleven years in coffee service, i've had many customers like this, and you CANNOT win with them. they were regulars before you worked there, they liked the old barista better, people have been cowtowing to them for years, whatever the reasons this is a power trip they get to play daily; and win. they won't give up.

so my advice to you is to remove yourself from the situtation. find someone who makes drinks that Mary loves. and run with it.

i wish you best of luck and happy trails.

alex

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