At one time or another, we've all seen "That Guy" at the coffee shop. You know the one. He talks loudly on his mobile phone, holding the line up, he snaps at the barista when she asks for his order to keep the line moving, and when it's over, he leaves his half-finished cup of coffee, the remains of a danish, and about 28 napkins littering the table where he'd been sitting. He's not exactly a hit with his fellow customers, and you can be sure that the staff's none too happy with him either.
Don't be that guy (or girl). Here's a few tips for making your coffee shop experience a better one for everyone involved:
If you're indecisive, visit your coffee shop's website first to get an idea of what you might want. If there's a line, use that time to decide on your order. If that's not helping either and you may be a while, let the person behind you order first. Still can't decide? Ask for the house blend.
Watch your volume, whether you're alone or with a group of friends. That goes double if you're arriving early in the morning, since some people can be a bit grumpy if they're surrounded by racket before they've had their coffee (not that we'd know from experience, mind you). Use headphones for your gadgets. Keep phone conversations to a minimum as well. Take it outside if you can, or at least speak in a conversational tone instead of YELLING ABOUT YOUR DATE LAST NIGHT. HE HAD, LIKE, PTERODACTYL FEET. OHH EMM GEEE!!
Don't Sneak Outside Food And Drinks:
We don't blame you for sneaking a package of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups into the AMC theater, since we don't like to pay $16.75 for a small popcorn and a thimble full of soda poured over six pounds of ice either. But if it's your local coffee shop, you're not sticking it to the man; you're screwing a small business.
Not all coffee shops and cafes pay alike, and not all of them pay well. Tip. If you can't afford an extra buck, wake up earlier and make your own coffee.
Time Your Questions:
Maybe you have questions about the coffee, or you'd like to find out which pastries are fresh, or you'd like to be the tenth person in the last hour who asks for the cute barista's phone number. Wait 'til there's a lull.
Clean Up After Yourself:
Don't leave your table or booth a mess. If you absolutely don't have time -- your train's in five minutes, or you just realized you were supposed to be in that meeting five minutes ago -- leave extra in the tip jar, with your apologies, on the way out.
You wanted a pour-over? Or maybe you wanted a faux-Starbucks latte-something with a dozen add-ons? Those things take time. The grinds can't hear you mumbling under your breath, and the barista doesn't deserve it.
Spread the Word:
If you've found a local spot that's amazing, spread the word. Leave a review on Yelp, give it a shout out on Facebook or Twitter, and tell your friends. A little positive buzz can make a big difference to a small business.
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If all that is too much to remember (and seeing the way people behave in cafes sometimes, I have to wonder), let's make this simple. If that was your business, what kind of customer would you want, and what might they do that would make you happy to see them every time they walked through the door? Be that
guy, not "That Guy."