Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Coffee Shop Manners

Between Coffee Buzz and my previous coffee shop job, I’ve been at this for a while. I feel like at this point I’ve seen it all….I’ve made amazing friends, I’ve watched customers go from first date to married, I’ve seen people complain about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING, I’ve been robbed, I’ve been excited, happy, cheerful, frustrated, pissed and every other human emotion you can feel while working in this industry. After an EXTREMELY frustrating experience with a customer I decided to pass on some of my learned wisdom. I’m sure every one of you has been in a coffee shop at one point or another, some of you may go every morning. Here are some coffee shop rules and manners to follow so that you don’t piss off your barista or the other customers around you.

*GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! We strive to get customers in and out the door quickly. We know you’re busy, we know you’re on your way to work and we’re going to get you your coffee as quickly as possible. Because we’re doing you this courtesy please do us one and put the phone down! It takes about 5 seconds to order something and another 25 seconds to be rung up….if whoever you are on the phone with can’t wait 30 seconds….you shouldn’t be wasting your time talking to this person. It’s rude. It’s annoying for the person at the register to take your order when you’re not paying attention and it’s annoying for the people behind you in line. Just don’t do it.

*DON’T POUR COFFEE IN THE TRASH!!!! This is my number one biggest pet peeve. When you throw hot coffee in to the trash it burns the bag and causes a leak, which is a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS for whoever has to take out the trash. If you need more room for cream, kindly ask to have some coffee dumped out. The barista will be more than happy to give you some extra room, especially if it saves them a disaster of a trash can. If you are drinking-in and have some of your drink remaining, ask if we can dispose of it for you…we’ll dump it in the sink and then toss the cup. People will LOVE you for this, especially if you say, “I didn’t want to throw this in the trash? Can you dump it for me?” You’ll earn major points!

*SAY HI. We greet people when they come in, the polite thing to do is say “hi” back or at least acknowledge that someone has just spoken to you.  All you mothers out there----teach your children this! It’s unbelievable the social skills most people lack.

*IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, TELL US. We’re here to get your day off on the right foot. If something tastes bad or isn’t made right….let us (or them, wherever you’re going) know. Even if you’ve left, let us know the next day. The last thing any (good) coffee shop wants is unhappy customers. Plus, you’ll probably get a freebie out of it and that will really make your day! Mistakes happen and the worst thing you can do is get angry….just inform us (or them) of the mistake and it will be taken care of. Then everyone is happy, no one is crabby and we can all move on and have a great day.

*LEAVE A TIP. And I’m NOT saying this because I need/want tips….I’m saying this on behalf of ANYONE who works in a coffee shop, or the food service industry for that matter. Would you go to dinner and not leave a tip for your waitress? Would you go to the bar and not tip your bartender? What is the difference between a bartender and a barista? I understand that a cup of coffee is less than $2.00 but we still have to make it. Just throw some pennies in there to show you appreciate it. We have some customers who don’t tip every day, but then once a week they’ll throw a dollar in there….great! We love it and appreciate it! Most people working in a job like this aren’t making a ton hourly, so every little big helps. Plus, when you tip, we remember and we know you appreciate our hard work which motivates us to work even harder.

*DON’T DIG IN THE TIP JAR!!! Needing to make change is one thing….but ask the cashier for change before you go digging in the tips. Grabbing money from the tip jar to supplement your payment is so beyond inappropriate it’s unbelievable. And it happens….more than you’d think. Someone gave that money to us. Therefore it’s our personal money! If we offer to help you out with some change from the tip jar, then lucky you. But, by no means should you expect it or just take it!!!

*DON’T STEAL. We want our TV back! We want the glass on our front door back! We want our piece of mind and restful nights back! Stealing is wrong!

*THIS ISN’T YOUR HOME. This is a business, not your living room so please conduct yourself in an appropriate manner and be mindful of those around you….don’t take your shoes off, don’t rest your bare feet on the chair, don’t rearrange the furniture without permission, don’t shout profanities in to your phone about missing the bus while someone is trying to study, don’t throw up in the bathroom and not clean it off the walls, , and throw your damn trash away. And yes, those are all things that have happened.

*BUY SOMETHING. If you’re using anything in the shop (wi-fi, bathrooms, a table for a meeting) you NEED to buy something. Every little thing in a coffee shop costs money (even the cleaner and towels used to clean up after your meeting) so buy something to help us pay for all the amazing things a coffee shop offers you.

*THERE’S A REASON….most places don’t take checks, or make you sign the receipt, or don’t let you add tips to the cards, or only take certain credit cards. Deal with it. Find another way.

*MIND YOUR Ps & Qs…”please” and “thank you” go a LONNNNNNG way!  

I hope my rant was helpful. It sure helped me!


Laura said...

lol.... i haven't worked in a coffee shop since college.. but i definitely agree with all of these things.. ESPECIALLY giving your tv and front door glass back!!!!!! jerks..

Ms. BWIT said...

I used to work in a coffee shop and I loved coming home still smelling like coffee - eventually I even starting drinking the stuff. I couldn't agree more - because this shit happens EVERYWHERE! I think this should be added to the list....DON'T TALK TO ME LIKE I'M YOUR SERVANT - I used to want to crawl across the counter and choke this guy who would come in and say...and I quote, "GET ME a ...blah blah blah." Do what? May I please huh? That used to drive me nuts - like I was some lowly coffee barista. I didn't get him nothin!

Cheryl said...

Really good etiquette list. Some I haven't thought of before and worthy of noting! And the cell phone thing? Grrrr...I also work in public service and am astounded at how many times people come up to the counter on their phone talking to somebody else who's not in front of them and throw their library card at me thinking that I can read their mind and know what they want!

Caroline said...

This is great! I can't believe people do all of these things. People are soooo nasty!

FianceBarista said...

Nice work babe! Pretty much covers it all.
This last one goes for anywhere you go.
Control your damn kids! They are not dogs that you can set loose when you get into public, yes i know they want to touch everything in here but maybe try this.....DONT LET THEM.

Jessica said...

I love that you posted this! So many people are so rude and nine times out of ten I bite my tongue... lord help you if I don't. I was a waitress, TIPPING IS A BIG DEAL!

Miss K said...

I was a manager at a coffee shop in college and I agree with everything you said! Some people have no manners

Carolyn @ life, love & puppy prints said...

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch good tips BB. :)

Sweet Nothings said...

has someone stole your tv! oh goodness!!