1.19.2007

paying for pleasure

at least once a week a customer asks me "why doesn't starbucks have those 'buy ten drinks get the eleventh for free' cards?" and the simple answer is "because they don't have to."

and it's true.
starbucks doesn't hand out the eleventh drink for free because they know people are more than willing to pay for it. the whole point behind these sort of coupons is to encourage repeat business, not to reward a loyal customer.
heartbreaking, isn't it?

some of you may recall the coupons we handed out last year for free iced tall drinks. that was around the same time our stock was decreasing in value. during the summer we had a spike in frappuccino sales - but as i've ranted about before, frappuccinos are labor intensive. so much so that it was making a noticeable difference in our usual profits. to combat this corporate decided to have us baristas hand out coupons to encourage customers to order iced espresso drinks rather than ice blended drinks.

did the plan work?
well, not at the bux i worked at. people still ordered their frappuccinos but added an extra drink on the side.

i'm guessing it will be a long while before starbucks hands out the free drinks again.

customer rant: i appreciate the fact that you wipe the excess whipped cream off the cups before you hand them out. honestly, i do. but licking your fingers clean afterward is going too far. next time use a paper towel - or better yet: be a neater barista.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

haha. so true. lotsa people ask me that too. say no and then they whine 'but coffee bean has it'. eesh.

and lick?

isn't it a violation of some sorta health code?

yech.

Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross said...

Excellent point in an excellent post. You've replaced Waiterrant in my aggregator.-)

I'll be reading...

Regards,

Glenn

Paper Monkey said...

::shudder::
I don't care what sort of service position you are in.. be it a pump jockey at a gas station, a clerk at your local video store or a very (VERY) patient Barista Brat it is NEVER appropriate to lick your fingers (or any other part of your body for that matter) in front of the customers.

and while it may not violate the health code (making the big assumption that a person who would do that would fanatically wash their hands afterwards) I'm sure there is at least some code of conduct for bux employees that would SERIOUSLY frown on finger licking!

Great posts as always Brat...

Kiz said...

The Starbucks(es) around here just didn't honor the coupon at all. So the Caribou Coffee offered to honor it instead.

I thought it was readily apparent that the Buy 10 Drinks coupons were to encourage repeat business; the difference amounts to, like, 10 cents a cup. K

Evangeline said...

And sneaky ol' me always orders a tall Americano 10 times just to get my grande quad blended whathaveyou for free. (lowers head in shame)

Allan said...

Coffee costs money?

The Pensive Penguin said...

Everyone wants something for free. They feel entitled to not have to pay since they've paid so many other times. And because they're special. I've worked in restaurants on the Las Vegas strip where that mentality is what makes the world go 'round. Every single customer comes into the restaurant with empty pockets saying "I lost all my money in the casino, what'll you give me for free" or "I lost five grand today, why do I have to pay for this?" I suppose it's a different situation, but it's the same "You've gotten a bunch of my money already, when do I get something from you?" sort of thing.

Sling said...

Your posts so frequently remind me of my bartending days. :)
Like the time my waitress opened (improperly) a bottle of Champagne for our guests,and it began to foam over...her solution was to put her mouth over the top of the bottle to keep it from spilling onto the floor.

Sling said...

Your posts so frequently remind me of my bartending days. :)
Like the time my waitress opened (improperly) a bottle of Champagne for our guests,and it began to foam over...her solution was to put her mouth over the top of the bottle to keep it from spilling onto the floor.

Sling said...

Your posts so frequently remind me of my bartending days. :)
Like the time my waitress opened (improperly) a bottle of Champagne for our guests,and it began to foam over...her solution was to put her mouth over the top of the bottle to keep it from spilling onto the floor.

*blogger is being a butt,so this comment may appear more than once...sorry.

mellowlee said...

Licking their fingers clean UG! That drives me crazy when I see that *shudder* It makes you wonder what else has their spit all over it eh?

Amy said...

i love it when the public assumes that corporate america has a heart or a conscience

Marcus said...

hmmm... i'm not sure about the not having the drink cards thing... i mean, it's kinda nice just to know that customers are being appreciated. i mean, it's only a 10% discount and that's even in the chance that people redeem the cards. sure, it creates problems sometimes and yes, it is supposed to encourage repeat business but even loyal customers like little perks.

just an example, if one frequents are bar a lot and gets to know the tender and also gives good tips, the bartender tends to throw in a drink on the house sometimes... it's the same thing and creates a sense of loyalty (so a 'repeat business' customer becomes a loyal customer)...

starbucks in malaysia used to have those cards but got rid of them suddenly... i guess it gives me a bit more space in my wallet!

and ew... licking the foam? gross... and use a napkin or something cos paper towels are bad for the environment (hehe... green freak)

barista brat said...

anonymous - yeah, a SERIOUS health code violation!

glenn - thanks!

paper monkey - i once heard of a barista licking the actual cup. i heard he was fired shortly after as well.

kiz - are you talking about the coupons that were circulated on the internet? bux didn't honor those, but i didn't know other coffee companies did.

evangaline - haha, but how can one get mad at you when you have such impeccable tastes?

allan - not if you're mr. or mrs. moocher!

the pensive penguin - oh man, i don't think i could handle hearing people expect freebies because they gambled all their money away.

sling - omg, that is hilarious! i bet she was pretty popular with the male patrons, though.

mellowlee - EXACTLY!

amy - haha, and when they assume that because they've dropped a dollar in my store they should be rewarded for it.

marcus - i think they have different card programs in your part of the world. but we baristas do a similar thing with our regulars. just today we gave a regular customer their drink on us as a perk.