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

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LOL Matt.

Matt Milletto said:
I had an employee that I hired ask me "Where is the stool?" her first day she worked in the very upscale Italian coffee and wine bar I managed. I had no idea what she was talking about, and finally realized that at her last job (at a drive-thru), she had sat on a stool behind the espresso machine all day. HA. This girl did not last long by the way ... but a funny story I bring up in my Coffee Fest Seminar on Hiring & Training when people ask if they should hire those who already have experience.
Does anyone have customers come in and ask if you have iced drinks? I swear I must have heard that a million times. (And yes, they were on the menu). Like it was common for all the other independent shops NOT to make iced mochas, only hot ones. Reminds me of a song...
My experience with hiring people with experience...I don't hire people that have been working at big chain stores. Unless they quit because they felt like they weren't learning how to be a barista. I love how confident they are during an interview about knowing how to make drinks until I tell them to make me a latte. The look on their faces are priceless. The ones that i've hired that have never touched a commercial machine in their life, so far have been my best baristas.

Matt Milletto said:
I had an employee that I hired ask me "Where is the stool?" her first day she worked in the very upscale Italian coffee and wine bar I managed. I had no idea what she was talking about, and finally realized that at her last job (at a drive-thru), she had sat on a stool behind the espresso machine all day. HA. This girl did not last long by the way ... but a funny story I bring up in my Coffee Fest Seminar on Hiring & Training when people ask if they should hire those who already have experience.
everybody deserves to learn and grow if they are teachable and hungry.

Sarah
I agree. I try to weed out the ones that feel like "it's just a job" from the ones that believe it's an art

Sarah Dooley said:
everybody deserves to learn and grow if they are teachable and hungry.

Sarah
well said, I tend to look for future business owners who say they want to own some day. They tend to work the bar humbly with ownership of their decisions. If your every close to us, please try to visit?

Sarah
i've worked in a variety of coffee shops--slow mom and pops, bustling sf java stops, and some neat ones in between.
1) "oh do you have soy?? because i need soy... regular milk, i swear, just does something FIERCE to my bowels."
--which is just too much information, even between friends, let alone strangers. the woman was elderly...maybe she just needed someone to talk about bm's with?
2) "i don't know, i just want coffee. none of that weird stuff. no, i don't like that flavored stuff. no, i don't want any of that. just c-o-f-f-e-e."
--all i did was ask this lady what kind of bean she usually prefers or drinks b/c she wanted to buy bulk.
3) "could i get a latte, but could you make it with cold water?"
--i'm sorry? beg pardon? hm? come again?
4) "just stick your finger in there, swirl it around a bit, sweeten it up for me."
---barf.

i'm sure there are more... if i really sit and think about it, but those are just some of the best off the top of my head :)
4) "just stick your finger in there, swirl it around a bit, sweeten it up for me."
---barf.
maybe you should have done it to see what happened?

In the word of comic book guy "worst pick up ever".
*** 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...
are we to interpret that a starbucks "caramel machiatto" is a latte "marked" with caramel? I have been racking my brain and that is the on GOOD explanation I can come up with. Otherwise I guess it is just to fancy up the name caramel latte. Share your thoughts
yeah for sure, that would be my definition
i went to a shop once... where they said a caramel macchiato was... shoot... it was caramel sauce at the bottom of the cup... add milk... top with thick capped foam... and then pour the shots down the middle of the foam.
that was the weirdest definition.
but in so much as every other place on earth ever--essentially a caramel latte.

Eric kk said:
yeah for sure, that would be my definition

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