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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In Indonesia I often get comments that "Indonesian Coffee is rubbish" (normally from foreign brand conscious Indonesians, rather than expatriates. This is immediatley followed up with the obligatory "I ONLY drink coffee that is grown in Italy"... I passed these positive comments to the thousands of coffee farmers on the slopes on Etna and Vesuvios (hmm..not!). Sometimes, I guess, no response at all is the best choice...
A response doesn't have to be either/or rude or passive. I always opt for engaging the customer, and do so professionally, politely. Since he mentioned the machine, a good segue would have been a discussion about the "4 Ms."

"Yeah, it is a great machine. Top of the line in fact. But great coffee is the sum of a lot of parts, the machine is just a small part of it." At this point, most customers will be curious and you have an in to expand on the topic. Just remember, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

It is not an uncommon response. Usually customers tell me, "Oh, I have to get a new coffee machine. My current one makes terrible coffee." As if the machine is the main culprit. (Usually it is their grinder, dose, or something they are doing wrong). Customers have this idea, based in part on their experience at Charbucks, that the machine is the thing responsible for their coffee. After all, you just push the button, right?

At the end of the day, he did say it was the best mocha he ever had, right? That couldn't have happened without you, so pat yourself on the back Sarah!
I love it when people say "ohh a heart, did you do that on purpose?" as if when I was pouring, the milk and spro fell in love and the result was a heart on top of the drink.
I love how people would compare indie shops to borders/hastings/starbucks. Then after they drink their mocha, their response is..."wow this is just as good, if not better than ----"

I also love it when soccer moms come in and try to order a drink and then you ask them "you didn't want a skinny vanilla latte?" Their response, "oh, I didn't know you can make that here"
Oh yeah that truffle mocha sounds delicious
i love that, "grown in Italy. That is too funny.
Alun Evans said:
In Indonesia I often get comments that "Indonesian Coffee is rubbish" (normally from foreign brand conscious Indonesians, rather than expatriates. This is immediatley followed up with the obligatory "I ONLY drink coffee that is grown in Italy"... I passed these positive comments to the thousands of coffee farmers on the slopes on Etna and Vesuvios (hmm..not!). Sometimes, I guess, no response at all is the best choice...
it is good.
Cedric said:
Oh yeah that truffle mocha sounds delicious
I know Jay, and thank you for the verbage. but you missed the subject, share a funny story you have experienced when you were the barista known as Jay.

I look forward to hearing your experiences that stand out above the others.

The Barista Formerly Known As JavaJ said:
A response doesn't have to be either/or rude or passive. I always opt for engaging the customer, and do so professionally, politely. Since he mentioned the machine, a good segue would have been a discussion about the "4 Ms."

"Yeah, it is a great machine. Top of the line in fact. But great coffee is the sum of a lot of parts, the machine is just a small part of it." At this point, most customers will be curious and you have an in to expand on the topic. Just remember, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

It is not an uncommon response. Usually customers tell me, "Oh, I have to get a new coffee machine. My current one makes terrible coffee." As if the machine is the main culprit. (Usually it is their grinder, dose, or something they are doing wrong). Customers have this idea, based in part on their experience at Charbucks, that the machine is the thing responsible for their coffee. After all, you just push the button, right?

At the end of the day, he did say it was the best mocha he ever had, right? That couldn't have happened without you, so pat yourself on the back Sarah!
1. "Hey, this double shot isn't hot at all." - Spoken by a customer who had just topped off his ristretto with half and half from the condiment bar. I explained to him how temperature diffusion works and we both had a good laugh

2. "What sugar free syrups do you have?"

Well, we have... (List given.)

"That sounds good. I'll have one with all of them in it." And thus the sugar free suicide was born and we all had a little more trouble sleeping at night.


3.Though i did not witness it, one of my coworkers was nearly accosted by a little old man who was insistent that his latte have "two blues and a pink" before it was handed to him.
that is all pure peotry! thank you for that. The sugarfree suicide sounds awful dude.

Chris/Dale said:
1. "Hey, this double shot isn't hot at all." - Spoken by a customer who had just topped off his ristretto with half and half from the condiment bar. I explained to him how temperature diffusion works and we both had a good laugh

2. "What sugar free syrups do you have?"

Well, we have... (List given.)

"That sounds good. I'll have one with all of them in it." And thus the sugar free suicide was born and we all had a little more trouble sleeping at night.


3.Though i did not witness it, one of my coworkers was nearly accosted by a little old man who was insistent that his latte have "two blues and a pink" before it was handed to him.
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.
Sarah Dooley said:
that is all pure peotry! thank you for that.



well thanks, here's one more for you...

"Yeah, could I get that drink with 5/8ths the amount of sugar free vanilla?"


Don't get me wrong I love everyone of my customers and each of them is an opportunity to serve and educate and for that i am grateful.

...but it does feel good to purge.

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