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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I was working at a "cafe" once and just finished making some latte art when my boss looks over my shoulder and was like, "you know lattes don't have foam...make it over", then pours it out in front of my customer!
Well to be honest we haven't had any comments that I'd consider idiotic yet. We are still infants at this, only being in business about 6 months (mobile espresso van operation), but so far nothing but positive comments. On all the drinks any way. Our customers do like to voice their opinion(s) regarding more advertising, more signage and that sort of thing, but have yet to critique the drinks they order.

Now I will say I can't stand the "half caff, half decaf" thing, especially with espresso because it isn't going to make that much difference in the end. IMO it's more of a mental thing, especially if they're just drinking a cup or two daily. Also when a new customer asks for a cappuccino and I have to ask "what's your definition of a cappuccino?"..."a traditional cappuccino or the crap you get at the convenience stores?"...

I'm sure as time goes by we will hear more of the things posted thusfar, but so far nothing but good. Later!
Brady said:
Joona Suominen said:
"Not as good as in Italy"
"In Italy they do this and that"
"In Italy this costs.."

Agreed. You could also sub "Seattle".

I once had a customer explain to me that the reason that the coffee was so much better in Seattle was that "all of the bosses live there, and could walk in the door at any minute."

I politely pointed out that "the boss" of our shop was up at the register, and was in our shop every day.


My personal least-favorite statement is some variation of "I've never had your drink before, but can you make it differently?"

I usually explain how we make it, try to figure out what they are looking for, and often talk them into trying it "our way" first with an offer to remake it if it isn't to their liking. Guess how many I've re-made?

3?
;)
-bry
"Can I get a coffee?"-guest
"Sure, we have a selection of brewed coffees available today, located on the menu board here."-me
Guest continues to stare at me....
"do you know if you'd like a lighter or darker roast?"-me
"Well I like gas station coffee so...."-guest
So. I know it's an old song, and one that I've sung for years, but this is the very thing that happens when an industry and it's trailblazers refuse to standardize a lexicon because it 'infringes on their creativity' or some other such crap.
Your customers are simply reacting to the fact that 'cappuccino' is a word that coffee shops use to describe a whole raft of things, and 'macchiatto' only means 'marked'. A 'Caramel Macchiatto' is Caramel flavoured steamed milk 'marked' with espresso, whereas a 'caffe macchiatto' is espresso 'marked' with foam to identify it as one containing a bit of steamed milk.
If you're in the industry and not actively working to solve the lexicon issue, not only are you to blame for some of the stupid things that you're presented with, you can only expect it to get worse.

If you can't get any three BGA members to agree on the definition of 'cappuccino', don't go pointing fingers at the customers that have been told eight different things since they got off the bus.
I order a double shot with foamed milk in a drink that totals between five and six ounces, at the most, allow them to call it anything that they like, and pay what they ask me to pay.
Yeah, I tell them how to make it, 'cause that's where it's going to go anyways, and I don't order off of the menu when the words on the menu can have vastly different results depending on which shop I'm standing in.
It's a self-inflicted injury. No whinging.
Chris,
I certainly think a cappuccino and macchiato should be what it is. For the creative part, maybe creating a featured drink or signature store drink would make more sense?
For me, the one thing that really crosses the line (and this has happened to me a couple of times) is when customers talk to their friends about how easy being a barista is. They aren't talking to me, but it has always been made perfectly clear that, in their opinion, a trained ape would be just as effective behind the counter. I can deal with ignorant and confused, dismissive and arrogant makes me want to throw things. I don't of course. I just smile and serve them their drinks.
amen to that
The three most often asked things of a Yellow Pages advertiser are: Your location, your hours and accepted forms of payment... the three most advertised this in a yellow pages ad are... the location, hours and forms of payment.

... and you expect people to read your menu. You know all those reality shows... those people are not acting... they really can't form sentences ...
I would have quit on the spot.


Nathan Mikkelson said:
I was working at a "cafe" once and just finished making some latte art when my boss looks over my shoulder and was like, "you know lattes don't have foam...make it over", then pours it out in front of my customer!
I had an excellent Turk"ish" coffee at Barefoot (who doesn't love their "whim of the barista: $5" on their menu?). It had a few shots plus cardamon, black and white pepper, perhaps clove and cinnamon.
The next time someone orders Turkish coffee, I'll answer "Geisundheit".
Rule of the Planet: Ape Must Not Kill Ape. I just try to resist the urge to strangle the folks that pay my rent.

Indigo Asher said:
For me, the one thing that really crosses the line (and this has happened to me a couple of times) is when customers talk to their friends about how easy being a barista is. They aren't talking to me, but it has always been made perfectly clear that, in their opinion, a trained ape would be just as effective behind the counter. I can deal with ignorant and confused, dismissive and arrogant makes me want to throw things. I don't of course. I just smile and serve them their drinks.

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