Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How to Speak Starbucks

I didn't work today, and I don't have to work tomorrow, which is wonderful. As I mentioned here a couple posts ago, I had worked a late shift and a ridiculously early shift back to back and got less than two hours sleep in between, so yesterday was sort of a blur for me. But today, I slept until 1 pm. It was great. Of course, now my clock is all messed up because it's after 11 and I am wide awake and will likely be up for several more hours. Oh well. No work tomorrow either.

So anyway, yes the new store has been open almost a week. Saturday was our official first day of business, though on Friday we opened the doors for a "Friends and Family" night, which meant we could all invite people to come check out the new place and get free drinks. Of course, this also meant that pretty much anyone on the street who wanted to come in could. We had a great turnout. The store really does look great. It's all so pristine and clean and new, and I have this bizarre need to protect it from getting messy and developing that "used" look.

Also, the neighborhood is so happy we're open now. The next closest Starbucks is 8 miles away, and all the other places in this area are mostly bars. There are some cool places around, but if you didn't want alcohol, you were pretty much out of luck until now. Now that they have a place for coffee, people are happy as shit. (Why did I write that? How happy could shit possibly be, really?)

The other day at work, someone ordered this (I'll quote them, pretty much word-for-word):
"I want a latte, the largest size you have. Can I get four shots, but only two with caffeine? And make half of the milk soy and the other half of the milk skim---but make all the milk really hot. Oh, and don't let any of the foamy part into the cup. Oooh, it would be good with some flavoring. Do you have toffee nut?"

So in Starbucksland, the person at the register--within about 2 seconds--translates this into Starbuckslanguage for the person working the bar by calling out:
"I need a half-caf, quad venti, toffee nut, half soy, half nonfat, extra hot, no foam latte."

And then the bar person confirms that she heard the order correctly by calling it back:
"That's a half-caf, quad venti, toffee nut, half-soy, half nonfat, extra hot, no foam latte."

And that's not even the most complicated drink I've gotten, not by a long shot. It cracks me up.

Starbuckslanguage is very strict. When we call a drink, we have a specific order in which we call various details about that drink. If you've ever looked on a Starbucks cup, you've surely seen the little boxes down the side. That's the order we go in, but that doesn't include the iced option, since iced calls for a different kind of cup entirely. So if someone wants a cold espresso drink, the word iced must precede everything else.
Here's the list:

So the drink itself (latte, mocha, macchiato, etc) comes last. Once the bar person calls back the order for confirmation, she marks the cup accordingly and then makes the drink.

Ok, then. Now you know how to order your drink at Starbucks. I guarantee that if you ever go in and order it exactly the way we call it, the register person will crack some lame joke about how you know the language, etc. Unless they're really really busy, in which case they'll just be thrilled to no end that you were an easy customer.

Aren't you glad I provided this lesson? My job is so fun (and that's not sarcasm)!


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