Has a customer asked you a question or say something that was completely out of line? Let us know here. The most common questions and phrases will become an article for my blog.

~Jennifer

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So, one of the first lessons learned as a young barista

"NEVER POUR ESPRESSO DIRECTLY ONTO ICE"

for reasons that, as a barista now, are obvious, but to the oblivious customers are not.  The reasoning is as follows: Espresso poured directly onto ice shocks the espresso, leaving your drink damaged, acidic and burnt tasting.  

 

In the real barista world, its a huge "NO-NO"

 

Unless not doing it would make a customer unhappy...which is how my story begins

 

"I need six shots of espresso!" <Flinn (alias name)

 

"O, well, do you know that our standard shot is a double shot so..." Me

(Flinn interrupting)

"Yes, that's good.  I need six of those shots and I need you to put it with ice and six shot of hazelnut"

(me slightly flabbergasted)

"Um, OK.  Do you mean an with cold water and ice?  Like our iced Americano?" Me

"No.  No water, can't have the espresso diluted" Flinn

"Well, when the espresso..." Me

(Flinn interrupting again)

"O, I used to be a barista for a long time..." Flinn

(Flinn keeps talking as I'm pulling shots about his longtime career of being a 'barista')

"So, you want me to put the espresso onto the ice?"  Me

"Yup, hit me up.  Don't forget the hazelnut"  Flinn

(insides screaming at me I pour the espresso over the ice and add the hazelnut)

"Here."  Me (I can't even be excited about this drink)

(Flinn takes sip)

"Perfect.  Yup, you're a good barista too..." Flinn

(Flinn walks out)

"Gross."  Me.

We can probably guess where he was as a "barista".

The debate about espresso getting "shocked" is still strong. I personally just try to have a customer try our cold brew and even have them compare it side by side to an iced Americano. So far they prefer the cold brew.

 Unfortunately, people like what they like in the end.

Delian Jayce said:

So, one of the first lessons learned as a young barista

"NEVER POUR ESPRESSO DIRECTLY ONTO ICE"

for reasons that, as a barista now, are obvious, but to the oblivious customers are not.  The reasoning is as follows: Espresso poured directly onto ice shocks the espresso, leaving your drink damaged, acidic and burnt tasting.  

 

In the real barista world, its a huge "NO-NO"

 

Unless not doing it would make a customer unhappy...which is how my story begins

 

"I need six shots of espresso!" <Flinn (alias name)

 

"O, well, do you know that our standard shot is a double shot so..." Me

(Flinn interrupting)

"Yes, that's good.  I need six of those shots and I need you to put it with ice and six shot of hazelnut"

(me slightly flabbergasted)

"Um, OK.  Do you mean an with cold water and ice?  Like our iced Americano?" Me

"No.  No water, can't have the espresso diluted" Flinn

"Well, when the espresso..." Me

(Flinn interrupting again)

"O, I used to be a barista for a long time..." Flinn

(Flinn keeps talking as I'm pulling shots about his longtime career of being a 'barista')

"So, you want me to put the espresso onto the ice?"  Me

"Yup, hit me up.  Don't forget the hazelnut"  Flinn

(insides screaming at me I pour the espresso over the ice and add the hazelnut)

"Here."  Me (I can't even be excited about this drink)

(Flinn takes sip)

"Perfect.  Yup, you're a good barista too..." Flinn

(Flinn walks out)

"Gross."  Me.

For customers like this this, make your version better, tell them what you call it and hopefully you will convert them as a new customer.

Kathy Fadorsen said:

In Cleveland Ohio we are still fighting for market share with starbucks dunkin dounuts and now Mcdonalds It is rare when someone comes in and orders a espresso and does not think it comes in a paper cup that said customer ordered a "grande Capp" which in cleaveland means (gas station sweet milk drink) I asked what do you mean by gande we dont speak starbucks here was told he is from Italy for my information! I can only hope for the day all customer want only the best in the mean time I must make a living so just made a large 20oz 4 shot gas station (capp)

I've had some customers tell me this as well. I tell them that at my shop, we offer only healthier coffee drinks and focus on crafted coffee drinks. If they still want a Mocha for example, I let them know more chocolate is extra.

This is a nice way of saying "we don't make gross drinks" and if they don't like how we do it, then obviously that's not the right coffee shop for them. In any case, the customer must leave as happy as possible.


Scott Miller said:

A favorite in our shop is the "your expresso drinks are too strong"... everyone else in town does 1 oz. espresso shots. Our menu clearly states, and we explain that we make our drinks with double shots.

Most folks appreciate what we do, but sometimes the taste of coffee in a drink MADE WITH COFFEE as its most important component is just too overwhelming.

There's a McD and D&D nearby that better fits the desires of those customers. We don't suggest that to them, but sometimes it does seem like the best thing to do.

I feel bad for their Doctors...

Gretchen said:

I would 'JUST' like to 'DO' a 20 oz espresso, and an  venti iced  sugar free cappuccino and  a hot caramel macchiato, tall, fat free, no foam.

Ah the ignorance of consumers. Thank you $harbux...
You respond by laughing... Then upon seeing their completely dead-pan-serious expression you turn it into a cough, look at your feet for a moment, recover, then tell them to order from the menu.

Joshua Murphy said:

The worst order I have ever received was for a "venti iced nonfat sugar-free caramel machiatto cappuccino frappuccino with whipped cream and caramel on top"

 

I did not even know how to respond.

Neither of these are directly related to the coffee itself, but still... interesting.

first off, I'm the manager in a coffee bar inside of a fancy grocery store that we like to call Wegmans. I'm a 23 year old chick and i apparently look twelve so the respect i get is little to none. Wegmans is SUPER HUGELY strict about food safety, so when someone comes up and tries to hand me a roll they brought from home and they want it toasted and cut in half i absolutely cannot do such a thing, and take this food safety hazard over the counter. So this particular customer is insisting that i do such a thing and getting upset at me while a line is forming behind him. I offer to take the roll over to a table and cut it with a plastic knife but he insists that it must be cut with our metal knives. I try to explain about food safety, and he says he doesn't care it doesn't bother him, and i explain again that it's for EVERYONE'S safety, not just his own. At this point he calls me an Asshole, even though i've offered to do more than should ever be required of me to cut his nasty roll. Interestingly enough, the Front End Manager and Store Chef happen to be in line. So he storms away and i tell the FE manager that he just called me an asshole. She goes over to intercept and he starts complaining to her and calls me an asshole again. She interrupts and says "yeah, she can't cut your roll". The Store Chef also wanders over and repeats the same thing, and them tells him that from now on if I say no for something, seeing as I am the manager, the guy should probably listen to me. Even though i was defended, it bothered me for DAYS because seriously i am a very nice person, and i doubt anyone would call me an asshole for any real reason.

 

Second Situation involved a very sketchy regular who decided to walk up behind me on the sales floor and blow on the back of my neck. this guy is like... 60s and nasty. I snapped at him and told him that was inappropriate and crossing the line and he got mad at me as if it was his god-given right to be a creep and invade my personal space. The next time he came in, he tried to 'make good' by asking me a bunch of personal questions about whether or not i was married or had a boyfriend and where i lived. I just said "you don't get it do you?"

 

Coffee wise, my biggest hatred is both the caramel latte and the Iced Capp/Cappuccino. Tim Horton's has a drink called an Iced Cappuccino/Iced Capp that is massively popular in Buffalo and is basically a blended drink that has coffee and cream flavorings in it and a lot of sugar and basically is a conglomeration of a bunch of non-food edibles in liquid form. I have to steer these folks towards our line of sugary Frappes, that are at LEAST made with real espresso and milk, and have to convince people that they do IN FACT desire a drink with real milk in it....


Different Perspective (Technician)

 

I have the machine in pieces, wires everywhere, tools all over the counter and the customer says, "is the machine broke".  I reply, "nope, just checking to see if my wrench fits".

 

I also like it when some says "can I get like a vanilla mocha, skinny, with whipped cream?", the barista says "sorry my machine is broken, the guy is working on it right now", and that someone replies "fine!, I'll just have a latte" :)

 

 

on the phone from the time they walk in till they leave. (It's just rude)
What happened to courtesy 101?

David said:
on the phone from the time they walk in till they leave. (It's just rude)

"Do you guys have just a sprite?" (customer)

"you're about to cause some kind of a dramatic situation sir..."

 

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