with our recent newbie outbreak there's been A LOT of confusion at bar. wrong recipes, re-steamed milk and old shots are par for the course when training someone new, but i've been shocked at the amount of "seasoned baristas" who have their own special way of making drinks. admittedly bux has some recipes that can make your head spin (seriously - equal pumps of peppermint AND chocolate in a drink! can you say "diabetes in a cup"?) and of course when a newbie thinks they've finally mastered the 3,4,5 syrup recipe, along comes a rush of customers who order the exceptions to the rule.
most newbies will master the bar in a few weeks (but you should see their terrified faces the first time they have to fly solo) and it will become their responsibility to help the more recent newbies learn recipes and food handling procedures. each barista has their own preferred method of remembering how to make drinks. the method taught to me, and which i now pass down to others, was the "latte base" method. basically, most bar drinks are based off of a latte (espresso, steamed milk, topped with foam) so if you know how to make a latte, you can pretty much figure out how to make the rest of the drinks.
example: a cappuccino is a latte with equal parts steamed milk and foam. a vanilla latte is a latte with vanilla. a cafe mocha is a latte with chocolate syrup and whipped cream instead of foam. an eggnog latte is a latte with steamed eggnog instead of steamed milk with nutmeg on top of the foam.
of course there are some drinks that have their own set of rules and these are the drinks many baristas THINK they're making properly, but of course they aren't.
example: a caramel macchiato is a latte with vanilla and caramel on top - except it gets one pump less of vanilla than a regular vanilla latte and the espresso gets poured over the foam (afer the vanilla, milk and foam have been put in the cup).
far too many baristas aren't aware that they are adding too much vanilla, or that they are making the drink "upside down". and the baristas that DO know how to make them correctly usually make the iced venti version incorrectly. just today my new assistant manager tried to ridicule me in front of a newbie because i put only four pumps of vanilla into an iced venti caramel macchiato.
"that's not how you do it!" he rolled his eyes at me. "i was told you were a superstar on bar. why are you teaching her to do it the wrong way?"
"what's wrong about it?" i asked, although i knew full well he was going to make the same mistake most baristas make when it comes to this drink.
"iced venti drinks get an extra pump of syrup!" he exclaimed.
"the iced venti caramel macchiatos don't," i replied.
"yes they do," he put his hand on his hip for emphasis.
"why don't you look it up," i suggested and continued to help the newbie at bar.
"you look it up!" he shot back like he was on the schoolyard.
"fine," it was my turn to roll my eyes.
of course my new assistant manager played the "oh, they must have changed the recipe" card when the recipe in the book proved me right. and of course he's wrong - again.
customer rant: i'm sorry you hate your job and i'm sorry you hate your manager - really i am. i know how much it sucks to be scheduled against your availability and i know it's equally rotten when you're understaffed, but please don't make your customer's experience suck as well. i ordered my drink politely. i tossed money in the tip jar. so why, instead of calling out my drink, did you merely place it on the bar so you could continue your tirade about how much you hate your store. when i thanked you for my drink you responded with a "yeah, whatever". i promise you, the customer will remember to never tip again if you keep this attitude up.