I currently work for Starbucks on the front lines. I’m the one making your coffee, trying to brighten your day, and offering suggestions on drinks. These are some notes I have compiled for your reference. Although this is not true for all baristas out there, it definitely is for the vast majority of us.
1. Utilize the staff. We don’t go through hours of training and retraining and constant supervision for no reason! We want to deliver you the most rewarding experience in our stores that we can. Don’t know what you want? Ask us to help you. One of the best parts of the job is talking to you to find your drink. Don’t know what coffee beans are a good fit for you? Ask us. Most of us have tried every single one. Don’t know how to take care of your coffee or want to try a new brewing method? Ask us.
2. You don’t have to tip, but we notice when you do. A lot of you dump your change into our tip cups, which is something we definitely appreciate, but some of you don’t. That’s okay.
3. We won’t spit in your drink. Okay so your drink that you get every day just doesn’t taste right or you tried something new and it isn’t really for you. Bring it back! Let me repeat myself: bring back a drink that you aren’t happy with. We won’t spit in it or otherwise contaminate it.
4. We will, however, give you decaf. In my six years as a barista, I can admit that I have done this, but only one time. I gave decaf espresso to a customer who was excessively rude to myself and my coworkers, both in my place of work at the time and at a job I previously held. In other words: don’t be a dick. You don’t have to be the picture of charm or happiness, but we expect basic human niceties such as manners. If you don’t have anything nice to say or communicate (talk to us about the weather, that’s cool), just stay silent.
5. Flirt with us but use tact when you do. Remember that this is our place of work. We know that it is very easy to become friends with a barista, especially if you come to see us on the daily, but if you want to hit on us, please be subtle and respectful with your advances. We are at work, where you are probably headed right now.
6. If you are a fellow barista, don’t be that guy! We, as baristas, have special access to play around with ingredients and come up with crazy concoctions. I have my share of annoying drinks that I could order, a couple of which would make you cringe if you read them. Here’s the thing: I don’t order them from other stores. If I want an annoying drink, I make it myself! I won’t push your buttons if you won’t push mine.
7. Yes, we are always busy. We do our best to control lines and move people through as fast as possible but sometimes sheer volume is overwhelming. We understand that you want your drink as fast as possible at the highest quality. We would like you to understand that drinks can only be made so fast, even by the best baristas, and that your patience is appreciated beyond words.
8. If you want your name spelled correctly, tell me how to spell it.