Coffeeshop Etiquette

This is a public PSA – that will probably at one point become a book (cos I could write a book on this subject).

Tomorrow is Black Friday. Everyone is out shopping and spending more money than they have. They’re stressed out by expectations and planning, and tempers are generally high all around.

I’ve worked retail for about 6 years now and believe me, there is an instantaneous shift in everyones attitude just as November hits. It’s terrifying.

So, here’s your one-stop coffee-shop etiquette for the holidays.

You aren’t a comedian: I promise that everyone has said that line before (you know the one, ‘if it’s not tagged it must be free!’ or  ‘how does a coffee-shop run out of coffee?’ and the multiple variations thereof). Believe it or not, we don’t find it funny. We’ve heard them all, repeatedly, and we can pick up on the subtle bitter undertone. If you must say something of that nature please ensure that your tone is positive (or else we’re inclined to believe you’re a moocher). The quality of the service you receive during the holidays relies greatly on you. 

We know that you’re stressed: Actually everyone in the city knows, they can feel your glare in downtown LA. Believe it or not, there are other people around you who are equally as stressed and that includes the people serving you. The quality of the service you receive during the holidays relies greatly on you. 

You don’t look like Bob: Don’t be stupid, and I mean that in the nicest way possible, but please use all of your brainpower before picking up a drink and taking a swig. Countless Caramel Brulee Frappuccinos for John are lost to Rachel’s who should have picked up hot Skinny Vanilla Lattes. We understand that you’re busy and often in a rush, but we’ve written a name on that cup to help ensure you get what you want (we also like to believe you’re competent enough to know the difference between a hot drink and an iced one). The quality of the service you receive during the holidays relies greatly on you.


We know how badly you need that *fill in the blank*: Be it the Chestnut Praline Latte, soy milk in your latte or that specific gift card design you went to four different stores for – we know.  Please be understanding when we can’t accommodate your Christmas wishes, we really are trying (believe it or not we didn’t personally orchestrate this just to inconvenience you) The quality of the service you receive during the holidays relies greatly on you. 

Now speaking from experience, this holiday is going to FLY by without time for you to even blink. Take that time you’re spending waiting for your decaf peppermint mocha frappuccino with extra whip and pumpkin sprinkles and breathe. Enjoy the holiday and the sparkly red decor we spent hours putting up for you, converse with a stranger or even your barista (given they aren’t flying at 100 miles an hour trying to shell out the 40 drinks before yours). You’ll be glad you did!


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