It is store policy at my shop, Catalina Coffee, that we never ever serve espresso to-go says so right on our menu: Espresso daily offerings served for here only.
Serving espresso to-go we feel compromises what should be the best beverage on our menu.
This policy, however, seems to give us the most strife. A few days ago my co-worker was cursed out by a distraught customer who couldn't take the time away from work to sit for 5 min and enjoy an espresso, but he did have the 5 to bitch and moan.... this is not the first time this has happened but dude took it to the yelps with some serious attitude.
We are always very polite when this happens always offer to make them a stout americano ( 8 oz americano) anyhow I was wondering how other people feel about this and if other shops have similar policies..

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It's also our policy. However, while set in stone it's not concrete. Have one customer who indeed really appreciates his doppio, but in the same vain enjoys a short afternoon exercise energize revitalize walk while on his short break from his Corporate Cube and only has so much time. Is it our duty to espresso purism to force him to choose between one or the other? I say no.

One option is to do as the SCAA does at their sanctioned Barista Competitions at the Fifth Machine and serve the shot in paper demitasse. Another option is to serve it in porcelain and ask them to return it if they're a regular.
You know, I want to have a "hardcore" policy about this. The whole "espresso for here only" is quite appealing on an esoteric level. And while we're here to ensure the best quality drink possible, I'm hard-pressed to be that hardcore about it.

Truth is, our base mandate is to provide customers with a warm and welcoming environment of hospitality. The general order for our baristas is to help the guest feel "stoked" about visiting our shop. It's about accommodating their requests as much as possible. With those basic orders in mind, I release our baristas into the wilds and let them do their thing. They act autonomously and do whatever it takes to achieve our goals. Part of this has become accommodating those guests who ask for an espresso or macchiato "to go."

To facilitate this, we maintain inventory of 4z paper cups. If the guest really wants the espresso "to go" then they're going to get the same level of quality, commitment and service that the ceramic guest receives.
Instead of saying; "its our policy not to do espresso to go", as this can be a confrontational statement!
Why not just say I'm sorry we don't carry take out cups for espresso! less confrontational!
I recently jail broke my iPad. 90% of the reason* why is because steve jobs has the nerve to tell me how I can and can't use a device I just spent 700 bucks for.

I get that it makes a huge difference taste wise and always recommend it to customers. But if the difference is between them partially enjoying it on their way back to work and not getting one at all because of a shop's "policy" then we probably shouldn't be super surprised when someone takes to the yelp with an unfavorable light. If that's a hill worth dying on in your shop that's cool, I've got a few of those myself but the paper spro debate has never really been one for me.


* The other 10% was so I could play snes games on it.

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Put espresso to go on the menu
Espresso for her $3
Espresso to go $10

Make the policy we only serve it in ceramic then give them the demitasse. Next time they can bring it in for normal price.
I like that.
The first time I was 'refuse' an espresso to go, the PBTC blamed it on the barista and the owner. "We've seen so many paper espresso cups make it as far as the front door and get tossed in the basket on the way out, or worse, littering the parking lot in front of the shop, that we've just decided to encourage the customers to take a couple of minutes to enjoy their espresso. She *might* make you one if you really don't have a minute or two..."

I sat down, enjoyed my espresso in porcelain, and took my double cappuccino to go. I was in the truck, and had sixteen hours ahead of me, but I could easily spare that two minutes. Changed my life, I tell ya!

I'm OK with store policies. I do think that you need to avoid telling a customer that they're wrong, and look for ways to either accommodate them, or let them see your side of things.
One thing I know is that the 4oz. cups are actually more expensive then an 8oz. cup. Just a shot-in-the-dark, but is there an area or bar for the person to consume it? That may be a problem, but turning a customer down based on policy also seems like a bad idea. IMO, the worst espresso, is the one not even made.
Often times, it's not so much the policy itself, but the attitude of the barista.
I've know a shop that doesn't carry artificial sugar tell a diabetic that "We work to hard for you to ruin it with artificial sweetener."
The diabetic customer walked out and went to Starbucks.
I find the policy legit but the customer service in this particular instance superbly poor.
i just got a review on yelp that docked me a star because "The coffee is tediously brewed one cup at a time. I supposed this means no refills." i'll gladly lose a star for that!

what i find with espresso is that it's better not to ask. we do split doubles if someone wants a single shot (1.50 single 2.00 double), and we do serve it to-go, but i never ask. our menu simply lists espresso - 2.00. what typically happens is that someone comes in and goes "can i have espresso" and i give them a double in a demitasse. the few times someone does say "espresso to go" i ask them how long they have, and usually can tactfully convince them to use a demitasse by expounding on the benefits of porcelain.
A great idea would be to find some affordable demitasses and get them to buy it so they can take it with them. Just tell them to bring it back every time. This way they are happy, you let out a great product without compromising the espressos quality and make some extra cash off the sale of the demitasse.
Jared Rutledge said:
i just got a review on yelp that docked me a star because "The coffee is tediously brewed one cup at a time. I supposed this means no refills."...

*Hi-Five*
yeah i agree with ya here, it's all about how you talk to folks. We always try to maintain a positive friendly attitude and are careful not to offend, however, sometimes you can't help it and don't even know you are offending someone. "the customers always right" policy has always been a fib and I think a shop has as much right to not supply something that it doesn't stand behind 100% as a customer has as much right to their demands

Jeremiah Perrine said:
Often times, it's not so much the policy itself, but the attitude of the barista.
I've know a shop that doesn't carry artificial sugar tell a diabetic that "We work to hard for you to ruin it with artificial sweetener."
The diabetic customer walked out and went to Starbucks.
I find the policy legit but the customer service in this particular instance superbly poor.

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