5 Ways to be a Better Starbucks Customer

By Madison Laberge

Starbucks: The final frontier. The only thing between you and a successful morning, study sesh, or first date. You sigh when the line stretches out the door, but you want to take Instagram photos of the coffee creation you’ve waited so long for.

Starbucks is a daily ritual for some, and a once in a while treat for others. No matter how many times a day you wait in line for your extra-caramel, extra-whip, no foam Venti Carmel Macchiato, there are a couple ways you can get your coffee smoothly and effortlessly. All this, while keeping your barista happy so they won’t purposely give you decaf or no sweetner.

Tip 1: Please be patient with your baristas. We understand that you have waited in line for a long time and that you have class in 10 minutes, but we’re trying our best. Being rude, snappy, or making inconsiderate comments (you would never believe how often I hear “wow it’s about time”) almost guarantee that your barista will instantly hate you. Please, be patient and remember that a “thank you” goes a long way.

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Tip 2: Please (and I’m begging) wait in line for water.

We baristas know that coffee isn’t for everyone. Sometimes all someone wants is a cup of water and that is perfectly okay, as long as you wait in line for it. So many customers come up and plainly hand off asking for water, expecting to get it immediately. If you ask for water most baristas will put it in behind the line of drinks that people already ordered. It simply isn’t fair to other customers (or your barista) to ask for your drink before anyone else’s is made. Just wait in line!

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Tip 3: Please don’t get upset with us if we misspell your name

Before working at Starbucks, I truly did not know how many ways a simple name like mine could be spelled. When the line is long, I usually do not have the time to ask how to spell your name. Really all we need is the gist of things so we can give your Mocha Frappuccino to you and not to Robert over there. So please, before loudly complaining to your friends about how “stupid” we are, realize that all names are spelled uniquely and we simply do not have the time to get them all right.

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Tip 4: Also, please don’t be upset when we ask several questions.

It is loud behind the registers. The oven is beeping, timers are going off, baristas steaming milk and the roar of voices in line often just becomes too much. So please excuse me when I have to ask twice if you wanted your drink sweetened or not, or clarify whether you wanted it iced or hot. I’m just trying to get your coffee to your lips as soon as possible. Being kind and understanding during the ordering process is the first step in doing that!

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Tip 5: Be attentive.

Finally, one of the best and most important ways to be a good Starbucks customer is to be attentive. Please pay attention in line for when we take your order. This especially means holding all phone conversations until you’ve already ordered! It’s rude to both the person you’re talking to as well as your barista if you’re trying to talk to both of us at the same time. Also, pay attention when we hand out drinks. We call out every single drink that we put out onto the bar, either by name or drink. By paying attention here, you can avoid waiting any longer than you have to for your coffee!

The Couple in Starbucks' Window

By following these five tips, you (as well as your coffee) will be in and out of the store faster than you can say Venti Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato with extra caramel and light ice. PLUS your barista will thank you for your patience.

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