Confessions of A Starbucks Barista


Photo taken by Jordan Elms.

Before I started working at Starbucks, I was in there a lot, nearly every Sunday with my stepsister. I went in that much that during my interview, the manager recognised me. But even as a Starbucks regular, I never really knew what went on behind the scenes. We all interact with our baristas a lot, but not many people really know what it is like to be wearing that green apron. And to be honest, I never truly appreciated the people behind my daily latte until I had to work one of the famous 5:30am opening shifts. Or the numerous times that I have spelt names wrong on cups that customers were planning to Instagram. We have to rock the classic Starbucks uniform during every shift. We have to wear black trousers, black shoes, a black polo with the logo on it and a green apron. This can get really boring so I loved it when we got to wear the red aprons at Christmas time. I have been working at Starbucks for about 6 months now and I thought I would do a little post on some of things that happen behind the scenes and some little confessions you may not know about. 

1 - Sometimes when people are really rude we will spell their names wrong on their cups intentionally. - There is nothing worse when someone starts spelling out their name for you because they want it to be completely right so they can put it on their instagram/snapchat. 

2 - Sometimes as baristas we have to find ways to entertain ourselves whilst on shift - Some of those ways are singing songs to each other and the customers don't always appreciate it but it helps the shift go by quicker and it's fun. Some of our favourite songs to sing here are Demi Lovato - Tell Me You Love Me & The Greatest Showman - Million Dreams ... basically anything from the Greatest Showman Soundtrack. 

3 - Half the time we give people regular milk if they ask for skimmed and if we don't have any out - If someone has been really rude to us and they ask for skimmed milk then we will give them regular or full fat milk just because they have been rude. Also, if we are in the middle of a rush and we don't have any skimmed milk out we will not run to the fridge to grab skimmed milk because we have to get the drinks out as soon as possible. 

4 - Barista's don't drink as much coffee as you would think - most of the time we will come in and have our free coffee in the mornings but we have all got the point where we have tried mixing loads of different drinks and making our own favourite drinks. My current favourite is the Hibiscus Tea Lemonade with Red Apple syrup and Peach syrup. 

5 - When people get the terminology wrong we don't like it - we say it in a nice way though. If someone says a regular and I grab a grande cup they will say they want the biggest one and I will say 'oh so the venti size'. The biggest annoyance of ours is when people call our Frappuccinos "frappes", like at McDonald's... sorry but this is not McDonald's. 

6 - The majority of our time is spent cleaning - people don't realise how much cleaning we do, most of the time if we don't have drinks to make or customers to serve we have a list of jobs that we have to get through and sign off, we are not allowed to leave the store if we haven't done our jobs for the day. 

7 - PLEASE do not order anything from the secret menu - the secret menu is not actually that popular here in the UK and us baristas don't get taught or shown how to make all the drinks that are on the secret menu. So, if you come into store and ask for a Cotton Candy Frap, you are not going to get one because we don't know how to make it and we don't want to spend our free time googling how to make one. So, if you want a drink from the secret menu - either don't or have the recipe on hand with you when you order so we can make it. 

8 - When customers constantly second guess your orders. - "Um, is this latte with coconut milk?" Well, the likelihood is, if you've asked for coconut milk then its made with fricking coconut milk because we know how to do our jobs and aren't completely incompetent. 

9 - The surprising anger customers feel when they realise we don't put marshmallows on whipped cream drinks even though NO STARBUCKS DOES. - This is one of the most annoying things we hear everyday. 

10 - The funniest times are when a customer can't pronounce a caramel macchiato. Instead, we hear caramel 'macheetos' or caramel 'maccacheeto'. 

11 - There is nothing worse than seeing a group of teenage girls about to walk in the door because you know that they are all going to order Frappuccinos - have the time they will sit and drink half of it and post photos onto their instagram or snapchat and then leave with it like it ls some form of fashion accessory. 

12 - When customers come to the till on their phone and then proceed to moan about the prices of the drinks - most of time we will hear 'it's cheaper at Costa' and we have to refrain from shouting 'no it isn't' back at them. Also, when they are stood their on their phones and hold their finger up to suggest 1 moment even though they have been waiting in line for ages. 

13 - Finally, when people drive off in the drive thru while you are still talking to them and/or still taking their order - there is nothing more rude when you are taking a drive thru call and asking someone if they would like cream on their Frappuccino or what size they want and they just drive off, no, come back and give us these answers otherwise we cannot get your drink started and you will end up waiting longer. 

Even though we don't always like our job, we are not liking it with a couple of other people that we see almost daily. This job forces strong friendships as you face creeps, crazies, fanatics and idiots, together! These are people who understand your pain and struggles, and the chances are that's a strong foundation for a beautiful friendship. I have made so many good friends since working here so I thought I would give them all a little shoutout! Tom, Eden, Lana, Aimee, Cherice, Georgie & Courtney. 

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  1. Ah, I was once (or maybe few times) pronounce Caramel Macchiato wrongly. Luckily the barista understood :)

    Fay x

    1. A lot of people do it but then they give up and ask how it's pronounced. We do find it quite sweet actually. Most of the time us barista's will understand what they are trying to say!

      Thank you for commenting.

      Caitlin x


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