How Not to Be a Bad Starbucks Customer: 10 Things You Should Do.

2 - 1 - Pacific Place Starbucks IMAG6123I went to three of my neighborhood Starbucks and asked my favorite baristas, ‘What are the things they want customers to do when they visit Starbucks?’ I heard the same themes over and over again. So here it is. Follow these ten rules to be a great Starbucks customer.

Your barista is the professional barista. The customer is not a professional customer: 99% of all customers visit Starbucks opening their wallet hoping for a great drink and experience. Hope you can adopt a few of these to make your Starbucks visit better for both you and your barista:

  1. Start your order with the size of the drink and whether you want it hot or iced, every single time.
  2. Stop your phone conversation when you get up to the register.
  3. Don’t scan your phone on the app until the barista says the app is ready to go.
  4. Ask for iced water at the register, with your order.
  5. Ask for all modifications at the register.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  7. Control your children.
  8. Clean out your reusable cup before handing it to your barista.
  9. Be respectful and be nice.
  10. After ordering at the register, move towards the bar area, and be patient. It will take a few minutes to make your drink.

A few years ago, I wrote an article on where to stand at Starbucks. My two cents is that make sure you’re lining up along the pastry case. The vast majority of Starbucks are designed to have the line form along the pastry case.

What would you add to this list? 😉

I know I’m publishing this on April Fool’s Day but that’s just a coincidence – I still think you should follow the above ten rules for a great experience when visiting Starbucks!






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  • MD

    Many, many good points. SBUX partner expect respect. Agreed, but SBUX customers do as well. LISTEN COMPLETELY when we articulate our drink order (asking us to repeat it again and again, says you didn’t). IF YOU ASK MY NAME, SPELL IT / SAY IT CORRECTLY (any idea how embarrassing it is to have your name spelled/pronounced “moron”?). CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE HOLY GRAIL (WAITING for 10 people ahead of you to give their drink orders during morning rush is unacceptable – stacking cups with 10 people in line @ 7AM is a BAD business model… this just says you don’t care if the customer gets helped. You know Dunkin Donuts is just around the corner, right?). GET THE DRINK RIGHT, because customers are paying a premium for barista expertise & drink value (leaving the store only to find out your hot chocolate is a mocha latte just burns). ATTITUDE is everything. CUSTOMERS only want a good drink, not a venti full caf tude… after all PAYING CUSTOMERS are the ONLY reason STARBUCKS is so successful. No customers, no SBUX.

  • Anne

    My favorite thing to do as a barista is to help someone who is having a bad day give me a smile.

  • RJE

    Are you kidding me?? Instructions for how to be a good customer? These sales clerks need to learn that their job is to SERVE customers, not the other way around. Starbucks employees no longer say “thank you” for customer patronage, go out of their way to make customers wait, and generally give the impression that they are there to fraternize, promote new products or do anything BUT wait on customers. I know, “wait on” and “serve” are not terms to be used for young service industry employees today, they’re entitled to so much more…

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