Starbucks Coffee Shop Etiquette Rules

By: Melvin Ng


Starbucks, the coffee shop franchise run by entrepreneur Howard Schultz, has been one of the most phenomenal business success stories of the last twenty years. From having a few outlets in the Seattle district only so long ago as 1984, to now having outlets globally, including in China, Starbucks coffee has certainly come a long way fast.

Nonetheless, regardless of which of the Starbucks coffee outlets you visit, certain etiquette rules apply, as they do when visiting any coffee shops. While you should always be conscious that other cultures may have different variations on a number of the outlet etiquette rules, when visiting a Starbucks coffee in the United States you should note that:

1. Queuing is important. The front order area may look chaotic to you, but there is a certain system in place. If you're unfamiliar with the system in question, make sure you observe the queuing format.

2. Order when asked. There is a queue, so use this time to make up your mind what it is you wish to order. Do not wait to make up your mind once you are asked by the attendant. Other lovers of the Starbucks coffee flavor queuing behind you will quickly get annoyed!

3. Front living room. These shops have become successful on the concept that it's a little like having coffee in your own home. The beverage shop format is most certainly shunned. Consequently, if order in, when it comes time to leave, make sure you clean-up after yourself on the way out. Don't leave half drunk cups of Starbucks coffee lying around, or table napkins scrawled up on the table-tops. Ideally, when you leave the place you have been occupying should be ready to use by the next Starbucks coffee shop patron.

4. Make sure you drink something. Many patrons of Starbucks love the atmosphere of the outlet. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, and it should be encouraged. However, making free use of Wi-Fi, newspapers and magazines come with a trade-off - you are expected to drink something! What's more, if you are making use of the Starbucks facilities, keep on ordering - otherwise you are taking up valuable space another patron could be making use of.

5. Noise. We've all seen the person who has a mobile phone they like to be seen talking into in order to appear important to us. We've all also had the experience of sitting next to people who are, bluntly, loud. Yes, Starbucks coffee shop outlets do have the appearance of having a coffee in your own living room. However, there are other patrons of Starbucks coffee shop other than you wishing to have the same experience as you want, namely a coffee in the comfort of their own home. Hearing noisy people on the phone or loud chatter takes away from this experience, so try and keep the noise level down.

If everyone remembers to keep to a few core etiquette rules, we can all have the ultimate Starbucks coffee shop experience that has made this chain of coffee shops the success that it has become.

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