One of my favorite things to hear in the shop from customers is the dreaded phrase "I'll just go to Starbucks." I get it all the time when a customer doesn't find what they're looking for or when we're out of a particular syrup/drink. It's like they think it's the biggest insult in the world. I wish I could just say "go to Starbucks...see if I care." Most of the time this happens just as I'm done cleaning the espresso machine. I have to explain to them that I cannot make their venti upside-down caramel macchiato and they hit me with the "you're making me go to Starbucks" line. Does this happen to anyone else?

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Sorry... but another word, umm, sort of advice: WE INDEPENDENTS are the BEST coffee roasters, makers, tasters, preparers, houses, shops, etc...., etc. YOU have to have that positive attitude! We are "Davids" among the Goliath. As long as keep serving our customers like they are Number One, we have nothing to worry about. What I mean is keep giving that great service that you are giving to your customers -- make that espresso drink 5 minutes to close -- go above meeting expectations and you will win against Big Green!

(Ok, I will get off my soapbox now...)

(WE INDYS are the BEST!!!) :-D
This happened a lot, and still does. We had a starbucks a block away from us that was really crippling, but when they closed down, it was great! People still say "I'll go to Starbucks," when we can't appease them. But when they realize it's not there anymore, they have to come back and pretend I didn't notice them the first time they were there. It's fun and satisfying.
Either that or people order something from the SBUX menu. Luckily, I use to work at SBUX (never thought I'd say that). I use my knowledge of how they bastardize their coffee to inform my customers as to what's in those SBUX drinks they like ... like how a "caramel machiatto" is actually a vanilla latte with extra foam and caramel sauce on top. But usually people are in our shop because they want to be. When they do ask for something that's "like a frappacino" I just politely explain what that is and offer them something similar on our menu. And then I make it extra delicious and make sure to be extra chatty. The super-helpful customer service will win them over in the end :-)
Wow. I couldn't have said it better. I think that summed up this discussion perfectly.

miKe mcKoffee aka Mike McGinness said:
Branden said:
I should have clarified, some days if it's super slow, we'll start closing up a little early. every now and then I'll clean the machine first but still leave the option for drip coffee or anything else that isn't espresso.

If it's your shop, cool. Not at my shop. I've caught my closers doing that in the past (downing espresso machine to clean before closing time has come) and they KNOW if they ever do it again I'll be looking for their replacement. I've had days where it's been slow in the late afternoon and then get hit with a rush of espresso beverages minutes before closing. Loosing a bunch of high margin sales that might have made the difference between marginal and good day at the register because wanting to get out early is not acceptable at my shop. It's hard enough to pay the bills, LIKE PAYROLL, without having sales needlessly curtailed. Espresso is the fastest to make, highest margin beverages at my (and I believe most) shops. The espresso machine is the life blood of the business.
Hey Branden.
I feel you man. People say that kind of stuff all the time, and it drives me crazy.
well, I don't really have to worry about any of that anymore since that shop closed. And it was all the owners idea to close early, I just merely followed orders.
Stating it was the owners directive when you first posted the issue of closing early and or downing the espresso machine before close would have highly changed responses. The owner's decisions steered the course of his business...down the tubes...

Branden said:
well, I don't really have to worry about any of that anymore since that shop closed. And it was all the owners idea to close early, I just merely followed orders.
i agree completely. his business ultimately failed because of his bad decisions. I guess I should have mentioned it was his choice to close early. that would have saved me some harassment I guess. haha no hard feelings.

miKe mcKoffee aka Mike McGinness said:
Stating it was the owners directive when you first posted the issue of closing early and or downing the espresso machine before close would have highly changed responses. The owner's decisions steered the course of his business...down the tubes...

Branden said:
well, I don't really have to worry about any of that anymore since that shop closed. And it was all the owners idea to close early, I just merely followed orders.
Branden said:
well, I don't really have to worry about any of that anymore since that shop closed. And it was all the owners idea to close early, I just merely followed orders.

Ughh. That's no good that he closed. I hope you've landed on your feet in a better place?
oh I did! I lucked out and got a job within a few days. a much better shop (urbanstandard.net) and i couldn't be happier

Brady said:
Branden said:
well, I don't really have to worry about any of that anymore since that shop closed. And it was all the owners idea to close early, I just merely followed orders.

Ughh. That's no good that he closed. I hope you've landed on your feet in a better place?
Great! Congrats!
I've had it happen a few times. I usually smile and say "yeah maybe you should go there." I can deal with most high maintenance customers, but when I get complaints about cost, size selection, and flavors... I'll let them know it's ok to take there business elsewhere.

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