In a given year, the average person will consume 10.2 pounds of coffee, some of which will undoubtedly come from your favorite local coffee shop.
From the pleasant aroma of fresh, raw coffee to the sounds of light chatter and soft music, coffee shops are a great place to get some work done or unwind for a bit with a cup of Joe.
Unfortunately, it only takes one rude customer to ruin the pleasant atmosphere of a coffee shop for everyone.
Want to make sure you’re not that guy? Read these coffee shop etiquette tips to avoid a potential coffee calamity.
1. Buy Something
Coffee shops offer all sorts of great amenities like free WiFi and comfortable chairs.
But at the end of the day, a coffee shop is still a business. In order to keep the lights on, they need to make money.
If you’re planning on getting some work done at your favorite cafe, make sure to support them by making a purchase.
Even if it’s something small like a cup of black coffee, a purchase is respectful if you plan on taking advantage of the shop’s creature comforts.
2. Don’t Hold Up The Line
Even smaller, locally owned coffee shops tend to have large menus. As a result, it can take some time to figure out what you want to order.
That’s okay! Take your time.
But make sure you’re not holding up the orders of customers who already know what they want.
If you’re feeling indecisive or have questions, step aside and let others order first. That goes double if the shop in question is going through a busy period. Otherwise, you’re likely to cause a traffic jam and cause the staff a great deal of unneeded stress.
3. Custom Orders Are Fine But Help Your Barista Out
Maybe you didn’t find anything that piqued your interest on the menu, but instead, want to try something new and exotic that you learned about from an article on Buzzfeed.
Custom orders can be fun, after all.
But if you’re intending on placing a custom order or adding several modifiers to a pre-existing drink, make sure to help your barista out.
They may not know what the heck a Cotton Candy Frappuccino is or that a Cap’n Crunch Frappuccino contains toffee nut syrup, not vanilla.
If it isn’t on the menu, don’t be surprised if your drink takes a little bit longer or requires further explanation.
Your local coffee shop employees want you to enjoy your drink, but first, they have to know what it actually is.
4. Tip Your Barista
Here’s a cafe etiquette tip for you: Tip!
Most baristas make minimum wage or a little bit higher. What’s more, they may not get a ton of hours and tips get split among a shift’s staff.
Tipping seems like a small action, but it makes a big difference and can really add up.
5. Don’t Flirt With The Staff
“But they’re being so nice to me. I thought they were flirting!”
It sounds silly, but most baristas (especially females) have horror stories involving creepy customers that misread signals.
Yes, they’re being nice to you, but that’s because it’s their job to make sure you have a pleasant experience. Chances are, they aren’t flirting.
Now isn’t the time to practice the pick-up lines you’ve spent hours working on. Your barista has enough on their plate and doesn’t want to hear it.
6. …Or The Customers
Along those lines, don’t take that as permission to flirt with the coffee shop’s customers, either.
They’re at the shop to enjoy a hot cup of coffee or relax for a little while.
Invading someone’s space isn’t okay, and unwanted flirting is a surefire way to get yourself banned from your local coffee establishment.
Note that this is different than simply talking to someone. It’s fine to strike up a conversation with the customer next to you, but make sure it’s warranted and they want to talk.
7. Be Patient
It’s understandable that you want your drink shortly after ordering it. But please be patient.
The staff is likely working as hard as they can to get your order out to you in a quick and accurate manner.
Being rude isn’t going to speed up the process — it’ll only make the staff feel bad.
Take a breather and wait your turn. Soak in the shop’s atmosphere.
If you think you can make a better drink at home and in less time, give it a whirl.
8. Be Respectful of Noise Levels
Even at their busiest, your average coffee shop isn’t very noisy.
Make sure you’re not ruining the atmosphere by respecting the space of others.
If you receive a phone call, step outside for a moment. If need be, you can ask another patron to watch your belongings for a few moments until you return.
And the same goes for music or videos. If you’re planning on catching up on your favorite show or have to hear that new song, wear headphones.
You may like your choice in entertainment, but that doesn’t mean your fellow customers will appreciate it.
9. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Coffee shops are fantastic places to get some work done. Keep in mind that others may need to get work done, as well.
If you’re planning on staying at the shop for hours, make sure to practice good cafe etiquette by buying another small purchase and making electrical outlets available to others.
10. Clean Up After Yourself
There’s no excuse for being a slob and expecting others to clean up after you.
When you’re ready to pack up and leave, make sure to clear your surroundings. Pick up any belongings, and if applicable, clear any trash and wipe up any spills.
This sole gesture can make you a cafe etiquette saint in the eyes of your baristas
Don’t Be That Guy: Follow These Coffee Shop Etiquette Tips
Make sure your next trip to your favorite coffee shop is a great one by practicing these coffee shop etiquette tips.
Being respectful costs nothing, but can make someone’s day.
Want to know how you can make coffee shop-quality drinks at home? Check out our guide to the best coffee and cappuccino makers you need to pick up today.