17 things to avoid in order not to make a bartender angry!

I maestri della tostatura media
Foto del banco della Torrefazione Ernani a Milano, con soggetto Riccardo, barista e macchinista del team Ernani

How many times as customers, including myself, do not realize when we exaggerate towards the bartender in front of us?

Of course, this is never done maliciously, often we don’t even realize it, and we justify ourselves with the phrase “The customer is always right”. But are we really sure?

Here is a short, non-exhaustive list of irritating actions for our baristas!

1.Talk on the phone

Talking on the phone while ordering or paying is rude.

Some clients talk on the phone while ordering, while drinking coffee, while paying, thus lengthening the queue. The barista has to almost beg to get the correct order without confusion of names, interpreting improvised sign language.

In fact, how can one not understand from the lip “a large ginseng in a hot glass cup”?!

2. Forgetting your order

Classic story: a customer orders a piping hot cappuccino, the barista prepares it with great effort, serves it on the counter and, looking at the customer, says “here is his cappuccino”.

The customer thoughtlessly or intent on chatting does not listen to the first call from the bartender, nor do the second and third.

When he finally realizes that it was what he had ordered, he finally consumes it and, unaware of what happened, says “but I ordered it piping hot”.

Here the bartender then fakes a forced smile and says “excuse me, I’ll do it again right away”.

Dear customer, know that he is repeating it to you just so as not to start an argument, but he wouldn’t have to!

3. Extreme personalization

It’s okay that everyone has their own tastes, and it’s also right that you consume what you like best. But it is one thing to choose your favorite product, another is to make endless requests with extreme customization.

Example: “A double coffee, but not too much, in a large boiling cup, preferably in a glass, macchiato with oats, with a little milk and a lot of cream, cocoa under the milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon on top”.

Just because we make all these requests we are not refined people with excellent tastes… we are more the terror of the baristas!

4. The masked cappuccino

If you order a “macchiatone” in a large cup, and then ask for “another bit of milk”, don’t be surprised if the barista applies the price of the cappuccino!

5. Complain about the prices

In this period even more than others, prices have increased, and why we should already know…

Statements such as “but in the other bar it costs ten cents less” and “it takes four cents to make a chocolate, you are a thief if you sell it for more than €0.15” or “now you also charge soy milk ? Where will we end up!” and again “table service is theft”.

Each cafeteria, by the law of the free market, is free to decide its own price. If ten cents is such an unsustainable expense as to make one cry for theft, then just decide not to enter that specific bar anymore and go to another, hoping that the quality will be the same.

6. Not understanding the context

This item refers in particular to the experiences in our Torrefazione in Milan.

Outside the place there is a 7-metre sign with the word “Torrefazione” and as soon as you enter you immediately understand that we specialize in coffee, as there is only that and little else, other than the small size.

Every day people come in to ask if we make pizza, pastry, lunch, fresh fruit extracts, cigarettes, passes for area C, parking tickets, stamps, scratch cards, ice cream and so on. Unfortunately I can’t think of any others at the moment.

Asking is legitimate, very true, but if you enter and what you see is a twenty-five square meters room and two entire walls covered only and exclusively with coffee, do you think we’ll make spaghetti allo scoglio?

7. Keep correcting the order over and over again

It can happen to everyone to ask for a coffee and then think that you preferred macchiato and notifying the barista is nothing wrong.

But start with “Hello a coffee” and the barista prepares and serves it.

“No, sorry, I wanted it stained”, and he stains it.

“You could also add a sprinkling of cocoa” and here is the cocoa.

“He would also give me honey” here they are.

“Oh no I’m sorry, I wanted it decaffeinated!” At this point the bartender is nervous!

8. Attract barista’s attention by snapping your fingers

I will be very frank: never do it!

Not even the dog is called by snapping his fingers! That’s really very rude and disrespectful.

Likewise, don’t call him “dude” or “hey” or whistling.

9. The undecided groups

When ten people enter a bar screaming and laughing, please at least place the order one at a time without overlapping. Otherwise the bartender does not understand anything and does not even hear that of the other customers present, then also taking complaints because he did not understand the request correctly! I will be very frank: never do it!

Not even the dog is called by snapping his fingers! That’s really very rude and disrespectful.

Likewise, don’t call him “dude” or “hey” or whistling.

10. A coffee in exchange for an office in small bar

It happens that a person asks for a simple coffee, then occupies a table for an hour, uses the wi-fi, asks for glasses of water, but from the tap, asks to charge the mobile phone, a lighter, a piece of paper and a pen.

You paid for a coffee, not an office rental in a small bar!

11. Tick the coin on the counter

I swear this thing is nerve-wracking. If you are in a hurry or just nervous, do not tap the coin on the counter for the duration of the service, otherwise the bartender becomes too!

12. Throwing money into the cash register

Throwing money into the till without specifying what you’re paying for and with an arrogant attitude doesn’t make you a big shot, just a rude person.

The cashier can’t make up what you want!

I swear this thing is nerve-wracking. If you are in a hurry or just nervous, do not tap the coin on the counter for the duration of the service, otherwise the bartender becomes too!

13. Place your order at the staggered table

You sit comfortably at the table and order your coffee. When the waiter arrives with the cup, ask for a glass of water and as soon as he returns, ask for the ashtray, and so on four or five times. In short, think what you would like and ask for everything immediately.

14. Getting angry for no reason

Sometimes even the best ones get an order wrong and serve the wrong drink to the customer.

Don’t panic, you don’t need to get pissed, yell and insult… just point it out and the bartender will immediately correct the mistake by apologizing!

15. Using cups as baskets

Cups are not waste bins for your litter, chewing gum or cigarette butts. There are special baskets for that!

16. Not saying hello and thanking

The barista has small and simple satisfactions and his greatest reward is a nice “thank you” from the customer. Entering a place, greeting the staff, thanking and saying hello again when you leave, literally melts the heart of the baristas.

It costs nothing to make such a small gesture!

17. But the worst is: hitting on the bartender

There is nothing worse than the classic slimy making inappropriate comments and questions to the bartender.

The barista is not there to be touched or made uncomfortable. The barista is working and has his own professionalism and dignity. It’s not showcased for your use and service, but it’s making a living. So leave your comments that are inappropriate and hurtful to you.

I also remember that when you exaggerate or are too oppressive, it is called harassment!

And remember

This is an article with an ironic background, but it can make us reflect on some small attitudes that really can make a difference.

Let us also remember that however much we underestimate the work behind the bar, it is not such a simple profession!

The barista welcomes hundreds of people every day, becoming a true representation of human variety, both in its best and worst features.

Clients can be polite and kind, as well as neurotic and arrogant. The “thanks” are increasingly scarce, while rudeness is rampant.

These boys, girls, men and women get up every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, before dawn. They fully prepare the place to welcome you and offer you an excellent regenerating moment. They are on their feet all day suffering their customers’ bad days and always responding with a smile without ever losing their cool.

When we customers are out and about on rest days, during holidays, when we meet with family, during our dinners out, etc. etc. they are on duty, smiling and energized for a new day, aware that their work is not recognized as “quite up to” with other jobs. But baristas don’t give up and use a simple smile as a weapon in their favor, which improves all of our days.

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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