Out of curiosity , In your shops respectively, what are some customer requests that you absolutely cannot/ will not comply with?

Do you make a 20 oz caramel breve with whip?

Do you pull a long shot?

Do you make a 200?

do you Ice the espresso or serve it to go?

Which rules are yours personally , which ones are store policy?

I've got a few of these myself but I would really like to hear from some others.

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Just yesterday I said "NO" to a request for "Big Foam...like they have at Starbuck's".
I said "NO" and it felt really really good.
One small step for man...etc.
20z caramel breve with whip? Can't quite accommodate that request if I don't have 20z cups or caramel syrup.

Long shot? I'm afraid we make the shots to our standards.

Iced espresso? You absolutely can have some ice in your demitasse cup, if that is what you prefer.

Luckily, my personal rules are my company's policies.


Truth is, we want to accommodate customers' requests as much as possible. Sometimes, we're just unable to (like the caramel syrup, we just don't make it) and offer an alternative. Most of the time, the customer will go along with our suggestions. Also, we avoid those so-called "ghetto lattes" because we don't encourage that kind of misbehaviour. We do not offer our customers a "condiment station," we add the sweetener and cream to taste for the customer so they do not have to be bothered. It gives us an additional measure of service for our customers and allows us to control what could be an out-of-control condiment station.
Jay Caragay said:
20z caramel breve with whip? Can't quite accommodate that request if I don't have 20z cups or caramel syrup.

Long shot? I'm afraid we make the shots to our standards.

Iced espresso? You absolutely can have some ice in your demitasse cup, if that is what you prefer.

Luckily, my personal rules are my company's policies.


Truth is, we want to accommodate customers' requests as much as possible. Sometimes, we're just unable to (like the caramel syrup, we just don't make it) and offer an alternative. Most of the time, the customer will go along with our suggestions. Also, we avoid those so-called "ghetto lattes" because we don't encourage that kind of misbehaviour. We do not offer our customers a "condiment station," we add the sweetener and cream to taste for the customer so they do not have to be bothered. It gives us an additional measure of service for our customers and allows us to control what could be an out-of-control condiment station.

Eliminating potential abuse by amping up customer service...what a concept.


I suppose I should have been a bit less vague in starting this one up. My original questions are more just examples than actual specific questions... since we all come from various points on the spectrum of specialty coffee, I'm trying to get a feel for whats important to who with this post. I'm looking to see if there are certain underlying threads or certain rules across the board that everyone actually agrees on.
Do you make a 20 oz caramel breve with whip?
No 20 ounce cups, never had 'em, and we don't carry whip for anything due to the miniscule sales of the con panna.

Do you pull a long shot?
In a word, "no" We pull all of our shots ristretto, but realistically we pull each shot it's proper amount as each espresso is different.

Do you make a 200? I honestly don't know what that is. But I will say "no"

do you Ice the espresso or serve it to go?
Espresso is to stay, served in ceramic demitasse only, I can't think of ANY logical reason to do otherwise. However, we can offer someone a "baby iced Americano" - which seems to do the trick.

Espresso, macchiatto to stay only, cappuccino is encouraged to stay, but we do have an 8 oz to go cup for those unfortunate times. Drinks are best enjoyed in ceramic, I hope that someday many will treat coffee and espresso with the respect it deserves. Everyone stay!!! (but only for a short time, please) :)

We don't have cream (half/half) out at all. The only drink it would be used for is the Americano and we ask when they are ordering if they will need room or not. We provide ~ 1.5 ounce in a nifty little ceramic pitcher. Thankfully, the majority who ask for "room for cream" use less than 1 oz.

Most people know better than to ask for these sorts of things at our caffe. I really don't think of us as hardcore, but we are high end when it comes to our espresso offerings and some things just shouldn't be done by anyone who is, or who claims to be, at this level.
First off no whip in this store. This buggy needs no whip, has no whip, and never will.
Not enough traffic to keep it fresh. Etc. Easyier to just say don't have it. No long shots if your refering to an Americano made by running group till cup fills.
Don't know what a 200 is? Enlighten me.
Will serve espresso to go in hot cups. If the customers wants ice he gets it how he wants it. In his hand if he asks for it that way.
The only hard rule I know of is we don't do any whip cream at all.
Joe
i solved the syrup conundrum by making my own - caramel (from condensed milk), vanilla, chocolate. done.

our biggest hot size is 12 oz. if someone wants a bigger drip coffee they are more than welcome to bring in their own mug. if they want a big latte with a lot of shots i don't mind doing it in their mug but the ratio needs to stay 5-1 (milk-espresso).

we don't do whip. we don't pull shots "long" (although no one has asked). i'll gladly ice espresso in a small cup, but i'm not letting people rip me off by filling a cup up with half and half.

so far, it seems like most people read the menu and realize what kind of shop we are, and order accordingly. i've turned down an "almond latte" or two but nothing too serious.
My only real rule is that i cannot modify the way that i pull a shot. You can put whatever you would like in that shot, it's your prerogative. Want a 16oz. sugar free mocha? No problem. But the espresso in there is going to be fantastic. This way people who are in the coffee know will come to me for espresso and traditional espresso drinks, but there's no point in turning away the people willing to give me $5 for a frilly drink.

Sure i would make a caramel breve with whip. I will not pull a long shot, but i'll make you a helluva 5oz. americano. I will serve an iced espresso and i (very occasionally) enjoy one myself. I do sometimes serve espresso "to go" if it's specifically asked for, but i have absolutely no understanding of why you would want to do that.

Ultimately, i will do whatever someone asks for. No sense in making someone feel like their drink is crap. I just do whatever i can to steer people in the direction that my shop caters to. For instance, if someone wants a 12oz. cappuccino, i will make it. But i will also hold up a traditional cappuccino cup and say "this is how we normally make a capp, you should give one of these a shot some day". I have several times refused to pull a "long shot", pull sugar with the espresso, etc.
Hey Chris,
There certainly are a variety of seemingly ridiculous requests, but for the most part I try to give the customer what they are looking for. I don't know what kind of day that person is having and if all they need to feel better is a tall mug of velvety milky goodness then so be it. However, the Coffee shop that I Manage is part of a Food Coop (healthy and sustainable food is key) so we try not to serve anything with preservatives such as artificial or sugar free syrups.
Tom
I was a conformist on the long shot dilemma until a few months ago. I now allow it to be served to 3 individual customers. That's it. Nobody else gets a long shot unless they can prove their pedigree! We adamantly refuse to serve it unless the customer meets the pedigree.
Long shot pedigree: They're from Montreal.
Alternative solution: very short americano.
montreal third wave-ish solution: pull the shot for an extra couple seconds onto a bed of hot water. Most of the good shops here end up serving mini americanos anyway.
Stickman said:
I was a conformist on the long shot dilemma until a few months ago. I now allow it to be served to 3 individual customers. That's it. Nobody else gets a long shot unless they can prove their pedigree! We adamantly refuse to serve it unless the customer meets the pedigree.
Long shot pedigree: They're from Montreal.
Alternative solution: very short americano.
Love the reply Ricky! There is a wide spectrum of customers, and quite frankly we cannot all be blessed with customers that know, love and FULLY understand coffee. I accept most request, if I have it, I use/sell it....its just more enjoyable to spend time with an educated coffee drinker...like anything else, we should appreciate all that we can educate, but please those that may request the opposite.

Ricky Sutton said:
My only real rule is that i cannot modify the way that i pull a shot. You can put whatever you would like in that shot, it's your prerogative. Want a 16oz. sugar free mocha? No problem. But the espresso in there is going to be fantastic. This way people who are in the coffee know will come to me for espresso and traditional espresso drinks, but there's no point in turning away the people willing to give me $5 for a frilly drink.

Sure i would make a caramel breve with whip. I will not pull a long shot, but i'll make you a helluva 5oz. americano. I will serve an iced espresso and i (very occasionally) enjoy one myself. I do sometimes serve espresso "to go" if it's specifically asked for, but i have absolutely no understanding of why you would want to do that.

Ultimately, i will do whatever someone asks for. No sense in making someone feel like their drink is crap. I just do whatever i can to steer people in the direction that my shop caters to. For instance, if someone wants a 12oz. cappuccino, i will make it. But i will also hold up a traditional cappuccino cup and say "this is how we normally make a capp, you should give one of these a shot some day". I have several times refused to pull a "long shot", pull sugar with the espresso, etc.
Usually for sillier requests I try to steer them to a more reasonable drink (by my standards), but if someone begs me to put hot dry foam on an iced latte, I'll probably do it. I don't want to, but I'll chalk it up to their eccentricity rather than some sign of degradation in coffee everywhere. And I don't understand shops that refuse to ice their espresso. I know it's better hot, hell, I personally don't like any iced coffee drink, but sometimes it gets hot out and they just want a damned iced americano, and who am I to say no?

on the other hand, everyone's gotta have limits. I wouldn't work for a place that had 20oz cups for anything. 16oz is pushing it, but there's a balance between making profit and upholding standards you know? Before I saw one of your members post an easy home recipe for blended drinks, I refused to blend hot espresso into some kind of sludge, but now I might try it.

Pretty much the only thing I say no to is 16oz cappuccino. We go by the rule of thirds so...you know...that's impossible...and gross.

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