I know we've all seen those articles about why Starbucks baristas get your name wrong. Revenge and them being bored are usually what that whole thing gets chalked up to, but as a Starbucks barista myself, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Promise not to tell, right?
Here we go.
It's because it's loud.
Yup. There it is. That's the reason we get your name wrong sometimes. Also, it's kind of your fault as well, but.... hey!
For anyone who has ever worked retail, we know that the saying "The customer is always right" is total bull. Yes there are times when they're right, but there are also times when they're so terribly wrong. So I'm here today to tell you how to be a good Starbucks customer because being a good Starbucks customer can come with a few perks.
- Use Your Big Boy/ Girl Voice.
So a majority of the time we end up writing the wrong name on your cup simply because we can't hear. There are so many noises going on behind the counter that you don't even realize. A couple off the top of my head are: Blenders blending, steam wands steaming milk for lattes, the espresso machine grinding espresso for shots, the safe beeping letting you know that it's ready to be open, the ovens beeping letting us know your pastry is ready, the coffee timer beeping letting us know it's time to brew more, the Ditting machine grinding beans for fresh coffee, the two hour timer beeping letting us know we need to change the sanitizer water, people having conversations in store, people having conversations on their phone, music playing, and depending on the store, the air curtain that starts up every time the door is opened. There is A LOT of noise.
And these are all usually going off at the same time.
Here's how it might be your fault: You're speaking as loud as a shy 5 year old. Have you ever wondered why it seemed like we were always yelling at you? It's because we can't hear. When we say, "I can't hear you" and lean forward, that doesn't mean speak more quietly because yes, I'm trying to read your lips as well.
- Assert Yourself
This is for most of the people who use mobile order. If I'm on bar, yes I see you standing there, and unless you're a regular who I know by name or face, I have no idea whether you used mobile order, or if you stood in line. Don't just stand there on your phone or stare at me while I make drinks expecting me to know who you are, because I've learned to ignore the people standing around waiting. I'm focused on these 20 drinks that are in front of me that need to get made. The only way I'm going to notice you is if you're standing there and I don't have cups queued and let's be honest, if it's the morning time, who knows how long that's going to be.
You are an adult. You just paid $4 for a drink. Assert yourself. Ask for what you paid for.
"Hi, do you have a mobile order for Josh?"
"I sure do! Here you go!" Proceeds to hand Josh said drink .
And that's when other people who have been standing around waiting for *their* mobile order come forward. We've been trained to call out mobile orders when they're done. If you're not in the store when it's finished, you might not hear that, so don't get mad at me when you've been waiting for 15 minutes and still don't have your drink. Come ask for it.
Like I just mentioned. We've been trained to call out mobile orders when they're done. If you ARE in the store when we call out your drink, again if I don't know your name or face, don't assume that we know who you are. I don't know whether you paid in store or through the app .
"I have a mobile order for Stephanie."
If you don't let me know that you're there, then I'm just going to assume that you're still on your way to the store, and I'm going to continue to make drinks. A simple, "That's me!" or "Right here" will reduce your wait time.
3. Picture Us As Your Bartender
With all those "Don't talk to me before I've had my coffee" or "But first, coffee" people out there, your morning brew is what you NEED in order to function for the day, right? Tips are pretty important to us. We notice them...and the people who give them to us. Just like being at a bar, you know you get better service or small perks from your bartender when you tip well. They're more attentive to you, they'll give you a shot on the house, etc. Now without incriminating myself, if you're a good tipper, more likely than not, you'll get little perks here and there from your local barista too. We're just trying to make the experience right for you.
I know I'll get the inevitable comment of, "Well if you don't like your job maybe you should get a different job" or something along the lines of those who work at Starbucks not being the smartest. This isn't a rant post about how shitty *YOU* think *I *feel my job is. I actually love my job but this is more of a guide to help people get the best experience that we're trying to offer customers. What I've written are my own thoughts on how to get a better Starbucks experience and no way reflect the company. :)