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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Ouch.
Iced Capps. Also, we 86'd 20 ounce cups.
Recently had a customer order a hot chocolate (made-to-order with Guittard chocolate chunks and steamed milk). After she paid, she asked for a 2nd paper cup so she could "add milk and make her son a lukewarm drink". Told her she couldn't have a 2nd paper cup, but I'd give her a ceramic mug (read: smaller cup). She got really angry and started acting like a complete jerk and threatened to sue me if her son burned himself on the hot chocolate. After she got the ceramic mug, she proceeded to empty all the remaining whole milk from the condiment station into the mug and then complained that she needed more. I offered to "top off" the mug with milk for her rather than having her wait until I could refill the carafe. This really ticked her off so she started calling me a racist. She has since launched a smear campaign against me/my store on the internet and within the town we are located.

So, even though I'm pretty sure she got what she wanted (a 2nd drink made with free milk from the condiment station), I'm apparently a racist. Any suggestions on how I could have handled it differently/better? Aside from throwing her out...I can only imagine the sh!tstorm that would have ensued had I done that!
what about when a customer asks for an americano with steamed soy? Isn't that basically a latte?
Gigi said:
Recently had a customer order a hot chocolate (made-to-order with Guittard chocolate chunks and steamed milk). After she paid, she asked for a 2nd paper cup so she could "add milk and make her son a lukewarm drink". Told her she couldn't have a 2nd paper cup, but I'd give her a ceramic mug (read: smaller cup). She got really angry and started acting like a complete jerk and threatened to sue me if her son burned himself on the hot chocolate. After she got the ceramic mug, she proceeded to empty all the remaining whole milk from the condiment station into the mug and then complained that she needed more. I offered to "top off" the mug with milk for her rather than having her wait until I could refill the carafe. This really ticked her off so she started calling me a racist. She has since launched a smear campaign against me/my store on the internet and within the town we are located.

So, even though I'm pretty sure she got what she wanted (a 2nd drink made with free milk from the condiment station), I'm apparently a racist. Any suggestions on how I could have handled it differently/better? Aside from throwing her out...I can only imagine the sh!tstorm that would have ensued had I done that!

"If your intention is to beat the system, you might want to go somewhere else as we aren't a shop that says yes to every request just to avoid confrontation. When we feel like we are being taken advantage of, we speak up."

Simple, direct and to the point.

As far as how to handle the smear campaign, call a local reporter and have them run your side of the story. Give a background of how requests for additional cups/condiments etc add up to a lot of money at the end of the year. Local reporters eat this kind of heated exchange up, and as long as you present yourself in a professional manner throughout the whole process (which I believe you have/did) then you'll come out looking like a business owner trying to make ends meet, and she'll look like a jerk.

-bry
Not barista related. Recently made the mistake of saying yes to a request that in hind sight should have been a "no we don't have experience in this area and it's against our core value of coffee as culinary". Specficially roasting 5lb of white coffee for them. I won't do it again. Times are tough and a buck is a buck, but I still won't do it again.

Another extremely tough one roasting wise stems from a shop that was about to close it's doors we recently acquired. It's an ex-Coffee People location. About 1/3 of it's whole bean and beverage sales was and is Black Tiger, a very high Robusta content very dark Northern Italian style blend developed by the extinct Coffee People, currently roasted by Deidrich in Idaho and distributed via a company in California. Which meant it arrived 2 to 5 months post roast, with a Best if used By 6 month date. I replaced it with a blend I developed. Problem is while it's being accepted by the customer base I and we can't stand the stuff anymore than the old Black Tiger. I forced myself to really work on the blend to replicate Black Tiger including pulling AND tasting shots of it! But I don't even enjoy roasting the crap, the smell almost makes me retch, and I love roasting.

It's going to be a tough one phasing out a product that's a high percentage of your Gross Revenue at a location. We can't afford to take that step yet.
with the exception of an iced capp, i rarely say no to anyone. HOWEVER, if you are going to come into my shop and request something rediculous, you are going to pay for it. For instance the woman standing at my counter right now who wants a decaf latte made with half soy and half rice milk. She got charged for an extra shot of espresso and both soy and rice. She didn't blink an eye so I assume I'm not the only one to have done that to her, tehehe
stephanie crocker said:
what about when a customer asks for an americano with steamed soy? Isn't that basically a latte?

No, I'd call that more of an Au' Lait. Depending on how much soy they are requesting, you might or might not choose to charge them for it.
Melissa said:
...For instance the woman standing at my counter right now who wants a decaf latte made with half soy and half rice milk. She got charged for an extra shot of espresso and both soy and rice...

On what basis? Did her drink use an extra shot, plus full portions of both soy and rice milks?
Brady said:
Melissa said:
...For instance the woman standing at my counter right now who wants a decaf latte made with half soy and half rice milk. She got charged for an extra shot of espresso and both soy and rice...

On what basis? Did her drink use an extra shot, plus full portions of both soy and rice milks?

They probably charge more for decaf (which makes total sense).

-bry
I make them all the time. Answer IMO is yes. A soy Latte.

stephanie crocker said:
what about when a customer asks for an americano with steamed soy? Isn't that basically a latte?
As you stated miKe. OT and not Barista related.
Baby steps miKe. Modifiy the roast little by little till it becomes yours. Train your clients palate one sip at a time.

As to your white coffee roasting, I'm glad it was you and not me. I could never stomach the thought of it, in my roaster or in my mouth. I'm writing it off as a fad, fad or not.
Joe

miKe mcKoffee aka Mike McGinness said:
Not barista related. Recently made the mistake of saying yes to a request that in hind sight should have been a "no we don't have experience in this area and it's against our core value of coffee as culinary". Specficially roasting 5lb of white coffee for them. I won't do it again. Times are tough and a buck is a buck, but I still won't do it again.

Another extremely tough one roasting wise stems from a shop that was about to close it's doors we recently acquired. It's an ex-Coffee People location. About 1/3 of it's whole bean and beverage sales was and is Black Tiger, a very high Robusta content very dark Northern Italian style blend developed by the extinct Coffee People, currently roasted by Deidrich in Idaho and distributed via a company in California. Which meant it arrived 2 to 5 months post roast, with a Best if used By 6 month date. I replaced it with a blend I developed. Problem is while it's being accepted by the customer base I and we can't stand the stuff anymore than the old Black Tiger. I forced myself to really work on the blend to replicate Black Tiger including pulling AND tasting shots of it! But I don't even enjoy roasting the crap, the smell almost makes me retch, and I love roasting.

It's going to be a tough one phasing out a product that's a high percentage of your Gross Revenue at a location. We can't afford to take that step yet.

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