Archived Tips for a Starbucks newbie?

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Sunday and Monday were my first training days at my store's Starbucks (Saturday was my first official day, but only cashier training), and I've been a little overwhelmed. My trainer has been explaining things a lot and been patient with my constant questioning and forgetful nature, but I still feel a bit lousy because I keep forgetting drink combinations, how to ring up items/find them in POS, how to write the cups out, and so on. I even have trouble distinguishing which size cup I'm holding, sometimes, unless I grabbed it myself. And how am I supposed to remember each item's expiration/toss date?

So far, the only hot drink I've gotten down well is the Caramel/Hazelnut Macchiato. And according to my TL, I picked up on steaming milk quickly (supposedly some of the regulars still mess that up). Frappuccinos are pretty easy for me, too, but mostly because there are stickers on the lid to the ice that tells each step involved. And I guess brewing coffee isn't so bad. And I think the syrup combinations for T,G,V for hot drinks are 3,4,5 and for iced are 3,4,6. Shots are 1,2,2 or 1,2,3, right? And then frappuccinos are on their own with 2,3,4? I can't remember how many pumps of mocha to use for each type of drink.

Even though it's only been two days, I still feel like I should be able to remember more of this stuff.

Does anyone else that works at Starbucks have any tips or a cheat sheet to help me remember?

Also, is there a list or something for closing? I wrote down everything I could remember to do, but I wondered what would be a good order to do it in. I close by myself next Friday, and may only have one more non-solo closing shift before then. The other thread I found about closing mostly just discusses cleaning the dishes, but at my store we have to hand wash everything in a giant sink shared with deli and bakery.
 

redeye58

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For opening/closing, check under guides/specialty/Starbucks.
You're right that hot drink syrup pumps are 3/4/5 & 3/4/6 for iced (the venti iced gets 6 pumps - & 3 shots, btw - is because the venti cold cup is 26 oz compared to 20 oz for the venti hot cup). Syrups for fraps are 2/3/4.
Just remember your basic recipes; the rest are all add-on details.
Lattes are steamed milk w/espresso shots; syrups are added according to drink type (CD cinn dolce, V vanilla, Cr caramel, etc).
Cappucinos are the same except you don't hold the foam back when pouring the drink.
Iced drinks are the same except cold cups are used & you don't steam the milk.
When writing your cups remember the details like size/type cup (tall/grande/venti - hot/cold), milk (2%, Nonfat, Soy, Breve), syrups (Vanilla, Hazelnut, Cinn Dolce, Caramel, Peppermint, Toffee Nut, Raspberry), toppings (Whipped Cream), decaf or half-caf. Write the cup first then ring it up (if you are by yourself) so you don't forget the details.
You might go through the recipe cards & make yourself a chart of the syrups until you're familiar with them.
It seems overwhelming at first but, with practice (& you'll have LOTS), you'll catch on quickly.
Good luck!
 
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You sound pretty well off considering it's only your second day. Be thankful you're getting trained properly. A lot of people unfortunately just get thrown into Starbucks and are expected to teach themselves. After a few weeks, you'll be dreaming of making caramel frappuccinos with extra caramel and skinny vanilla lattes. It'll be instinct soon enough. Don't be discouraged! Like Redeye said, make yourself a cheat card of the amount of syrups and shots and whatever else you're having trouble remembering. Keep it in your apron.

Don't stress. Good luck!
 

redeye58

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Props for catching on quickly re: steaming milk.
Even some who have been here for a while still make it scream like a banshee & you can hear it halfway across the store.
 
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I'm delayed in replying, but I wanted to thank you all for your advice/tips and words of encouragement! I've had four shifts since I posted and I feel like I'm doing much better! Though I still ask my trainers/fellow co-workers a lot of questions, I'm able to make most of the drinks myself now. I'm getting POS down, too. Now I just need to remember where everything is stored, when to make certain things (like mocha), and when things expire. Hopefully in another week or two I won't have to play 20 questions with everyone at Starbucks, haha.
 

redeye58

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There's no such thing as a stupid question nor TOO MANY questions.
When you have downtime, play with the register screen so you'll know where everything is.
Here's an assignment: find out where the strawberry lemonade is located under on the register.
 
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Make a cheat sheet listing the # of pumps and shots in each drink :) It will be super helpful, because when you have a line up or anything your mind may go blank.

Reference the beverage recipe cards as much as you need to, they should be somewhere nearby. If you are able to, flip through those because they also show you cup markings etc. I have stressed this with my TMs and they are needing to less and less each day, and gaining more confidence, improving their skills, getting more efficient with every shift they work.

You sound like you're doing really well.. keep it up & good luck! Starbucks training takes 32 hours and my DM told me the other day that it can take up to 12 weeks to feel 100% confident, while some people are quick learners and get there in 6-8. You sound like you belong in the second group for sure :)
 
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Also don't keep pens in your apron haha. For some reason, 2 of us have had our pens explode our apron pockets this week, so I lost one apron and a pair of khakis, and my one fingernail is now blue >_<
 
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