- Insider asked current and former Starbucks baristas what annoys them the most at work.
- They shared five pet peeves of customers, including not cleaning your cups or utensils.
- Another pet peeve is blaming product shortages on the barista when they can’t control it.
Red cup season at Starbucks is well underway and the holiday spirit has started to kick in. The signature reusable cup started as a marketing tool, and now nearly everyone on the planet is eagerly awaiting its release as the start of the holiday season – even baristas.
“I love red cup season,” Tayla, a UK-based former Starbucks barista, told Insider. “The festive drinks are all super simple to make and spirits are lifted.”
While many memories of past seasons are happy and cheerful for baristas, some are a little grumpy — and they don’t have to be. Insider spoke with three current and former Starbucks baristas about their biggest customers and what customers can do to make the holiday season happier. (The baristas asked to omit their last names for privacy and professional reasons, but Insider verified their identity and employment with documents.)
1. Blame your barista for shortages
It’s very frustrating when your favorite item goes wrong due to supply chain issues. But some customers direct those strong feelings to their baristas.
Tayla said product shortages tend to bring out the sensitive and aggressive side of customers. “One time we ran out of a particular bagel,” she said. “A woman was very unhappy with the situation. She tried to get her order for free, but luckily I was able to deliver it to my manager.”
When customer frustrations reach a boiling point, baristas said they are trained to deal with the situation and offer alternative drink suggestions or explain to the customer how supply chain issues continue to arise. be a problem. Rather than pouting or complaining about missing menu items, baristas ask customers to navigate the script with a bit of grace.
2. Ignore the tip jar
If a server or barista goes the extra mile, it seems like a common courtesy to offer something over and above that $5 cup of coffee. Unfortunately, some baristas have found that tipping at Starbucks is a not-so-common courtesy.
“Sometimes a customer buys $15 worth of drinks, pays with $20, and tells us to keep the change,” Jack, an Indiana-based barista, told Insider. “The client calls him doing his part.”
Baristas also have the option of trying to get extra tips by placing nifty voting-themed tip jars on the cafe counter. Some people who come across these tip jars laugh and toss a little extra change, but for the most part, says Jack, these jars go unnoticed.
3. Orderdoing something complicated, then not grasping it right away
Two baristas said that customers ordering complicated drinks are a big pet peeve.
“People ordering all kinds of amendments to their drinks, where the drink doesn’t even look like the starter drink, is not ideal,” said Meg, a former downtown Indianapolis barista.
“Every hot sunny day, Frappuccino is away,” Tayla added. “Frappuccinos take so long to make, and you usually get soaked in the process.” If you order something complicated, they said, be prepared to hear your name called and take it – no one likes to see a hot drink go lukewarm at the end of the coffee, especially a barista.
4. Correct the spelling of your name
Speaking of your name, Tayla says, don’t correct the spelling if a barista gets your cup wrong. “It’s all part of the fun.”
5. Not to cleanascend your mess
Tayla said messy customers are a pain – for example, if they stick a muffin in their coffee cup and leave it for a store employee to pick up. “They’re horrible to clean,” she said.
“Just be nice. Clean out your trash cans,” Meg added. “Don’t leave your cups to others and don’t let your wrappers, napkins and stir sticks be your barista’s problem. If you’re having trouble locating the trash can, don’t hesitate to ask your barista.”
All the baristas who spoke with Insider agreed that average customers were rare compared to good ones. They also said that in the end, they liked their jobs.
“I loved working at Starbucks,” Tayla said. “The community behind the bar was always lovely and in my experience most of the patrons were too.”