Dear Starbucks Customers

Dear Starbucks Customers,

Thank you for visiting our store! If it wasn’t for you I’d be out of a job, so I really appreciate you choosing us. I know our menu is large and constantly changing, and we employees can seem intimidating because we’re so focused on our tasks. It is not our intention to come off as unapproachable, but instead the opposite. We really do want to help you!

When you order, it is helpful to know what basic drink you want – latte, caramel macchiato, espresso, mocha, white mocha – first. Everything else is an easy change for me via buttons on our screen, but that is one thing I can’t change. So when you order a grande nonfat vanilla, with an extra shot, at 180 degrees latte I may not always get it right the first time because I’m waiting for the magic word “latte” or “mocha” while remembering all the other pieces. It would be very helpful for me if you asked for a venti mocha, iced, with 3 pumps raspberry and an extra shot.

Have you ever wondered why you see four Starbucks employees and not one has offered to take your order? The simple answer is – none of them were assigned to take your order. Basically, all of our roles look like this:

<photo credit: pixabay>

We all have small areas we are in charge of and together everything happens. When I step out to do something that isn’t my role it affects the whole ecosystem back here, and so I’ll look for the person assigned to take your order.

Also, the person taking the orders is often the newest person on staff. So if they ask you to repeat yourself several times, or don’t seem to remember you after the 50th visit, please be patient, as they are still learning and trying to wrap their heads around the whole menu.

Speaking of the menu… It’s larger than what is written on the boards behind and above me. Don’t see the Cascara Latte on the board behind me? I’m glad you asked if we have it – because we do and a barista would love to make it for you. Never heard of a doubleshot on ice? That’s ok, it’s not on the board either. Just because it’s not on the board does not mean it doesn’t exist, so please ask! If you’re planning on staying awhile you can ask for a “for here cup/plate” and you can enjoy your food/beverage in a glass (for iced drinks), ceramic mug (for hot drinks), or on a plate. We have them in all sizes, and will wash them when you’re done.

Don’t know what you want? We would love to help you create something, but we need your help to know what you like. I don’t like overly sweet things, so I cut all of our pumps in half, but I know my taste preference isn’t the same as everyone else’s. Almost anything is customizable – milk, temperate, number of pumps of syrup… it can be overwhelming and we’re happy to help you find something you like.

For the record, the “secret menu” is not a thing. We are not In N Out; We are Starbucks. If you can give me the directions of how to make a Twix frappuccino, we are more than happy to do so. The pink drink is a thing. The dragon frappuccino is not. I’m sorry you’ve been lied to by the internet.

Did we give you an iced coffee instead of an iced latte? Please let us know, and we’ll remake it for you – no extra charge. It’s actually the company policy – if your drink has too much ice, not hot enough, or needs a little bit more heavy cream on top we’ll stop what we’re doing to correct it. We honestly want you to love your drink. Tried something new because the barista who took your order recommended it but you actually hate it? Let the barista making drinks know and we’ll make you something different.

Have you ever waited a really long time for your drink, either in the drive-thru or in the cafe? I’m sorry about that, but I have no control over what other people order and we’re doing our best. If your Starbucks has a drive-thru, I call this the invisible line. There is a whole other set of customers you don’t see ordering drinks and we only have the one person making drinks. Or we have two – one making hot drinks and one making teas, refreshers, and frappuccinos.

Those last minute requests for water from the person making drinks is also slowing us down. I will put a smile on my face, but I’m secretly angry at you for disrupting my flow to do something the newbie at the register could do. If you want water, please ask the barista at the register. PLEASE.

Unsure if you should tip? Most people are and there are many debates online over whether you should or not. I will happily take your spare change, but know my paycheck does not depend on your tips. Most people don’t tip, and I’m personally ok with it. But if you’re ordering several frappuccinos, more than 3 drinks/food items that need to be warmed, or asking for more than a free glass of water, please tip. Even a quarter is appreciated.

Lastly, please clean up after yourself – especially in the bathrooms. No one likes to use an unclean bathroom, so please help us and not leave confetti pieces of toilet paper on the floor, wet paper towel shreds in the sink, or wads of paper towels anywhere that is not the trash can. We don’t have enough people to constantly monitor bathroom tidiness, and your help is greatly appreciated.

Again, thank you for choosing Starbucks. I hope this helps you understand things better and if you have any questions, always feel free to ask your barista.

Your neighborhood barista



Bonus: What am I drinking?

* iced carmel macchiato upside down with extra caramel drizzle
* Starbucks doubleshot on ice, no classic sub cinnamon dolce and with soy
* grande cool lime refresher with no inclusions, no water sub lemonade, 2 pumps peach and blended
* iced chai with coconut milk


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