Dear baristas: stop being rude to seniors 173



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Have you ever dealt with rude cafe staff? You may find some happy vindication with the following words.

Maria Paoli, an international coffee expert, has sampled coffees and judged baristas from all around the world. And she’s just singled out Melbourne baristas as the rudest of them all.

Ms Paoli told the Herald Sun there was “way too much attitude” from the staff in Melbourne’s cafes, who were ultimately hurting Victoria’s proud coffee culture.

“It’s so prevalent in Melbourne, from body language, to tone, language and an inability to stop looking at mobile phones while people are waiting to be served,” she said.

“It’s a matter of courtesy”.

While her criticism was aimed squarely at Victoria’s capital, her advice is clearly something baristas all around the world should be taking to heart.

She took particularly exception to the way baristas spoke down to older customers and those with allergies.

This means honouring their dietary wishes, and not forcing them into elaborate artisanal choices deemed “better”.

“If an elderly person goes to a café, and they are often the ones with money to spend on a coffee outing, and they ask for a hot coffee, that is what they should get. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the perfect way to serve coffee — that is what they like so they should get it,” she said.

“And don’t put on “that face” when a customer has an allergy. Put on a smile and embrace it because you want that customer to come back”.

Do you agree with these biting words about Melbourne? Is it really worse than other places in Australia? Have you ever dealt with rude staff like this? Or have you been lucky enough to find a local cafe free of these problems?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Here where I live not one barista has been rude to me.

    1 REPLY
    • I live in a “hipster” part of Sydney and always order Soy Cappuccino and have NEVER experienced a rude barista or wait staff.

  2. customers can be rude too….if you don’t like the person serving you, go somewhere else

    3 REPLY
    • Yes I listen to some customers. And a lot are oldies, I’m in that category. You get what you give. There’s no please thank you, kiss my a–e. So don’t always go blaming the staff in any type of shop etc.

    • As a customer, I am always polite, but often find retail staff to be rude and impatient. The last time that happened (just a couple of weeks ago) my husband and I dumped our potential purchases on the counter, and walked off.

  3. I like my coffee extra hot so I ask for a skinny latte extra hot and at 1 particular shop then have to get into an argument with the staff because I like it in a mug as with an extra hot coffee you cannot hold the glass. Last time I asked to speak to the owner after another DISCUSSION with staff. She told me if I wanted it in a mug I would have to pay extra. I told her politely what she could do with her coffee and walked out never to return. I have also heard the staff tell a customer if they wanted 2 teabags then it would cost $1. Obviously customer service is a thing of the past at that establishment. On the plus side our local Michelle’s is just the best

  4. Really can’t afford to deal with a lot of barista’s, but never had problems with the staff at The Dome where I love to go for a treat. They sometimes look overworked but never rude.

  5. I always ask for extra hot and usually do not have a problem. I live in Melbourne.
    If someone takes too long to serve me I walk out as there is always another coffee shop next door!

    3 REPLY
    • Shelley Ruth Michelle Burden didn’t order. That was the problem being ignored. I haven’t done it very often but, occasionally it is the only way to get a coffee. I would never walk out and not pay but, I will return it if not hot or not what I ordered. I am never rude always polite and I expect the baristas to be the same.

    • yep…agreee & i have done that as well & have asked how much longer it might be & will leave if it’s too long….yep & at the prices we pay, i have returned a coffee or two…my thing is strong coffee so will order with extra shot on the side…you have to pick your place as their is so many coffee shops/cafes around…

  6. sounds like i’m lucky i live in Perth. my girlfriend and i go for morning tea to Miss Maude’s at the Warwick shopping centre and they are the best. we get treated very well.

    1 REPLY
  7. I live in Rockhampton in Qsld and our local Mitchell’s at Allenstown shopping centre are fantastic most of the staff know our order we usually have a coffee when we do our shopping .

  8. I live in Rockhampton in Qsld and our local Mitchell’s at Allenstown shopping centre are fantastic most of the staff know our order we usually have a coffee when we do our shopping .

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