How to be a good customer

While I’d rather get my coffee elsewhere (I’m currently sipping an incredible nitro-charged coldbrew in an independent shop called “East One” that has so much caffeine in it I’m starting to hear colours and taste time), we can all learn a thing or two from the systems that Starbucks use.

My favourite being the way they train their customers.

You might balk at the notion of being “trained” by someone you’re buying from, but there’s no denying that it has served Starbucks well.

Order a long black in a coffee shop in Melbourne and the order goes through to the Barista, and wordlessly, your delicious brew will be served up.

Order a long black in a Starbucks and “Tall Americano” will echo down the line of staff, repeated verbally all the way down a chain to the person who eventually makes you a coffee and serves up some bitter, over-roasted misery with too much water.

Have you ever wondered why they do this?

It’s to teach you, dear customer, how to be a good customer within their rules. They even have their own language that they force you to use.

The result is an extraordinarily efficient machine that enables one company to churn out a staggering 8,070,428 drinks per day‘Bucks claim to use 4 billion disposable cups per year.

There’ll always be the odd stalwart who refuses to do things your way, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create your own standardised customer systems that are the first step in making scale possible.

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