We asked the experts what they think about complicated coffee orders – from time-consuming orders to whether customers should pay more for non-standard orders.
Gone are the days of the simple caffé latte. Your morning pick-me-up now comes with so many options that baristas are often swamped by extra hot, decaf, three quarter, soy, chai with no foam requests. And that’s just the hot coffee orders.
“Most people just ask for a regular flat white but you do get a few variations. It throws a spanner in the works when I have 15 coffees to make and about three minutes to do it,” says Newtown barista David Thode. Peak periods in busy coffee shops can often mean that baristas pump out 300 orders before 9am.
Full, skim, soy – what’s your choice?
It’s not just creative extras that ruffle our coffeemakers. “Everyone’s trying to do something new so when standard orders are given an exotic name I always have to stop and make sure I’m on the same page as the customer, that they just mean a long black,” says CBD coffeemaker, Dimitri Agaios.
Baristas try to reserve judgment on what they see as ‘taste-destroying coffee orders’, too.
“I’m fine with extra hot orders,” says Agaios. “A lot of older guys love their coffees hot, even though it totally ruins the taste.” This is also true of vanilla shots and mocha.
And those price hikes on things like soymilk? It’s a more expensive product to begin with so the extra cash is justified, says Agaios. “Plus, soy milk is likely to look and feel sour if overheated or mixed with a bean that is too acidic so it generally takes longer to get right.”
Is your iced coffee order too “complicated”?
“At the end of the day, if someone is coming in and they’re willing to pay for something then you have to respect that,” says Agaios with almost Zen-like calm, in spite of the eight takeaway cups all waiting to be filled on his bench.
“Our business is all about personal touches – that’s how you win people over and get them to come back each day. If you can’t do that then you’re in the wrong job.”
By Marina Cilona