So I was working at the coffee shop, you know making various beverages and sort of recollecting several conversations I have had with customers over the years and I remembered one particular that needed expounding. I don't want to "over write" this so I will share one event in the hopes of inspiring you all to share yours.
On a particularly touristy day a new face popped into the cafe but this guy was unusually chatty. We're not known to be pretentious barista's who are too cool to morph into character so I engaged with him. When he finally read through the menu out loud he got to the "truffle Mocha" we make with a special ganache and celebrated that request to me almost in song...here's the weird part and maybe where my pride was a little hurt. He came back up to the bar to bestow a compliment, "Wow, this is the best mocha I have ever had! Must be a great machine." Confused, and again just a little hurt I smiled with a "thankyou?" I think back to that and there really is no right way to turn that compliment around. Do I say, "yeah and one good barista too". Does the machine deserve all the credit?
When you go into a great restaurant and the dish is prepared to perfection to you ask for the chef and say, "Wow, great food, you must have one great oven!" or when you mum makes a great pie do you compliment the apples?
I have to say I have never read a restaurant review that credits the equipment for making such innovative dishes.

please share yours,
Sarah

Views: 1589

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

So then why do you encourage her? Many shops have either adopted a "no ghetto latte/breve" rule, refuse to pour espresso over ice, or simply charge a convenience fee for putting it into the large cup. There is no law saying you have to keep around customers who cost you money. As others have pointed out, you can at least charge for a breve.

Laurie Criger said:
Being the only true cafe' in a small town, we constantly have to educate the customer. But one of the most frustrating is the woman who ordered 4 shots of espresso over ice and then asked us to fill it with 1/2 & 1/2. When we handed it to her and explained the next time she might just ask for an iced breve, she said "no, if I order it that way I'll have to pay twice as much." Not one of our favorite customers, to say the least!!!
From what i've gathered, or rather what starbucks employees tell me, who are customers at my shops, the caramel macchiato is caramel sauce (not liquid syrup) and a shot of vanilla syrup... so how they call it a macchiato is beyond me i suppose it sounds fancy 0.o just like how they call an au lait , a cafe misto.... fucking starbucks... lol I worked at a coffee house that served traditional Italian coffee's, a lot of their customer base is high school kids and they would always order caramel macchiato's, and I always got a kick out of seeing their faces when handing them this tiny cup...is that wrong? oh well :)

Eric said:
*** slightly adult humor/storys ***
1. although it didnt happen to me, it kinda did in context... so this guy, a regular, comes in and is talking to my friend(and fellow employee) who ill call "stan", and i could totally see them talking quietly out in the shop... i see my stans face contort and just go like "did this guy really just ask me that?" Stan stops talking to the dude and walks over to me shaking his head in shame and motions for me to walk back in the office so he can tell me something... basically in a paraphrase of his very long descriptive story this dude told stan that "stan was looking very sexy that day and that he would like to have a 3some with stan, the manager of our shop and him..." Turns out we go and tell our boss and our boss is like yeah this guy has been kicked out of like every other local shop and restaurant around for saying stuff like this, and was on the local sexual predators list as well as being a schizo ...
i know it wasn't really that funny at the time, but in hindsight i can really get a good laugh out of the whole thing...
2. there is this old guy, a Korean war vet, who currently comes into my shop, but once at the same old shop he had come in in the morning and saw some of my piercings and tattoos and started saying some crazy stuff and i was trying to be polite and nice saying something along the lines of "different strokes for different folks" and he finished our conversation by saying that he wanted to "come across the counter and slit my throat with a knife"... seriously i was at the time like wtf, but now that he comes in all the time at my current shop hes actually come to be super nice to me which is scary and slightly funny at the same time...
3. the classic can i have a caramel macchiato, you make it, then they hold up the tiny glass or very light cup and ask if it is like the ones in starbucks...
So ironically enough while reading this post I have a "customer" more like random crazy guy... come in to our store asks both me and my co-workers names, hearing my name is Lindsey he makes some weird joke about where's my axe... then claiming it was in reference to Lizzy Borden... well this guy then asks for some cold water with honey... I tell him we have free water on the side bar and he proceeds to mix raw sugar into his cup of water... then comes back to the counter to apparently tell me a story of how he single handedly saved the city of Austin, TX recycling program and then he goes off to tell me our current world state of affairs is indeed a dire and tragic time, and judgment day is coming and I sat here trying to not piss him off and bide my time until eventually he walked out... Our store is in strange neighborhood in Houston...
this didn't make me laugh, it made me want to slap the customer.

she very decidedly ordered a 16oz. single shot, no foam latte. ok, fine. i hate making no foam lattes but fine, whatever the customer wants. she comes back a few seconds after receiving her drink with the homo milk carton from the condiment stand asking for a new one. i go get it, no questions asked. but as i'm getting it for her she's following me to the storage room where we keep the milk, i explain to her that if she wanted a whole milk latte, we could've done that for her. she says to me in a 'holier-than-thou' tone, "no, you kill all the proteins in the milk when you steam it so i add cold milk to it for some protein."

i said nothing to her. just opened up the carton of milk and moved onto the next customer. it was just wrong on so many levels.

- she dumped milk out of the finished latte. thanks for the waste!
- she added milk from the condiment stand, who adds milk to their lattes? is that cost worked into the price of a latte?
- she could've asked for a latte steamed to 115° if she wanted it to retain the protein. (raw food theory.)
- she could've asked for an iced latte or even better an iced SOY latte if she wanted her protein.
- there are 9 grams of protein in 8oz. of whole milk. how much could she possibly have added? 1 oz would've delivered less than 1 gram.

i know that there is probably some science behind this (according to her theory, doesn't pastuerization kill all the proteins as well? i mean we're talking 140°-280° here...) but science aside, there were other options to the drink she 'made for herself' instead of wasting my materials.
There is nothing more frustrating that this kind of customer, because for the most part you can't reason with them. I think you did the right thing in just ignoring her. If I was the owner of the shop, I would definitely initiate a friendly conversation with this customer, and try to find out where she is coming from. Probably a fruitless conversation though. She is likely just a PITA. If you can humor her without incurring any additional expense and waste, I say just go with it. However, as she is insistent on dumping good milk out and adding cold, if she comes back you could agree to make her drink 3/4 full next time. Otherwise, a surcharge is usually a good way to get rid of these customers.

A brief summary on her premise however. First of all, I am no organic chemist, so take the following with a grain of salt.

As for the science of steaming milk...No, steaming milk does not "kill" the proteins. At least no more than anything else. The process of steaming milk denatures the proteins, which breaks down the proteins, but afterwards they reform into new proteins. In fact, this is the basic process that gives the foam its structure. The proteins do not disappear. Also, as you noted, if the milk is pasteurized like most milk in the US, then it has already been heated to about 160, about the same temperature you should be steaming your milk to.

You can see from this link that a steamed milk at Starbies has about 14g of protein. Even Charbucks can't Eff that one up!
hahaha compliment the apples. haha.
you have to laugh at that. It's funny and cute.

Chris Tellez said:
They come up all the time, but heres one of the good ones.

C: Can I get a latte?
B: Sure, what size?
C: medium
B: okay, for here?
C: yes please...

She then proceeds to sit down and talk to her friends.

B: Medium Latte's ready!
C: is this with soy?
B: no, sorry, did you want soy?
C: yeah, I cant have milk.
B: not a problem, let me remake it for you, it'll just be a second.

B: Soy Latte's ready!
C: Thank you...(takes a sip)... oh, can I get this extra hot?
So of course I remake it... I;m nto about to steam the whole thing.

B: medium extra hot soy latte ready!
C: Thank you!

sits down and has a few sips... Comes back (very sweetly I might add.)
C: Um, I forgot to ask for decaf....
B: okay.... well.... one second.

I remake it, and shes happy...four drinks later.
ohmahgawdz!? wow. Sounds like something my mom would say.

Nathan Lyle Black said:
A woman came in a few days ago and watched me pour a double rosetta on top of her latte. After I set the drink down on the counter, she exclaimed, "Oh that's wonderful! Did you do that yourself?"
haha
Adrian Badger said:
I was in a chain store (not big green, but another one they own) last summer and requested a Macchiato. The very nice barista informed me that they don't make them like the well known caramel macchiatos, but that they make them traditionally. I asked what she meant by that and she replied: "we fill the cup about half way with foam, then 'mark' it with the shot of espresso." I said thank you, smiled, and ordered a cappuccino.
I had a customer today say (upon seeing my rosetta), "Oh look, a tree for Earth Day! What a great idea!" I just laughed and laughed, but we got to get into a cool conversation about latte art and real baristas vs. button pushers, etc.

-bry
The old owners sister in law still comes into the shop to get her latte. She is privelaged to say the least. One of the first times I met her I had to remake her drink because it wasn't right. (We should come up with a name for when we have to remake drinks 3 or 4 times because the customer doesn't give you all the facts I.E. decaf, lowfat, extra hot w/e) So when it is finally what she wanted, she looks up at me and very matter of factly states, "What do I have to say to get my latte right?" with the most sincerest look on her face. I was humilated because the person on register just said "regular latte". Then, more than half a year later, Im pouring hearts on lattes and what not, in her attempt to make small talk says to me, "wow, your really getting the hang of this" AGGHHHHH!!!
People piss me off sometimes. That makes me mad to just read it!

David Schuler said:
The old owners sister in law still comes into the shop to get her latte. She is privelaged to say the least. One of the first times I met her I had to remake her drink because it wasn't right. (We should come up with a name for when we have to remake drinks 3 or 4 times because the customer doesn't give you all the facts I.E. decaf, lowfat, extra hot w/e) So when it is finally what she wanted, she looks up at me and very matter of factly states, "What do I have to say to get my latte right?" with the most sincerest look on her face. I was humilated because the person on register just said "regular latte". Then, more than half a year later, Im pouring hearts on lattes and what not, in her attempt to make small talk says to me, "wow, your really getting the hang of this" AGGHHHHH!!!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Barista Exchange Partners

Barista Exchange Friends

Keep Barista Exchange Free

Are you enjoying Barista Exchange? Is it helping you promote your business and helping you network in this great industry? Donate today to keep it free to all members. Supporters can join the "Supporters Group" with a donation. Thanks!

Clicky Web Analytics

© 2021   Created by Matt Milletto.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service