The Mt Hope and Elmwood Starbucks kind of sucks – A poor service story


Frankly, service at this location has always been spotty at best. I’ve lived in the area for five years and can guarantee I’ve been there less than ten times. Baristas there are often aloof or just plain unfriendly. The occasion mentioned in this tweet made me want to stop bothering with this location altogether. I’ve been a barista for eight years so I don’t understand what is so hard about simply being nice when that is most of your job.

But anyways, the three baristas working seemed to be having their own intermittent conversation via headset and although no one was in line and the cashier was standing at the register right in front of me, she didn’t acknowledge my presence until I greeted her twice.
She feigned not hearing me as I placed my order, though obviously was instead trying to listen to her private headset conversation about an employee who may or may not be stealing money from the till.
So I repeated my order and when I asked if I could have soy she said yes.

“Was this ‘yes’ directed to me or the headset conversation?” I wondered later when I saw the other barista making my drink with dairy milk. Thank goodness you label your steam pitchers!
When I asked if that was soy she looked at me and nodded.

Did she not hear me? Is she lying?

So I waited for her to finish her headset conversation and when I noticed her going for the whip cream I hastily put my hand up said,

“No whip cream please!” because I am in fact, very lactose intolerant. Since I always order soy I’m just used to baristas asking me if I want it first.
My fault I guess?
I asked again if she had used the soy.

“No, did you want it?” she asked as she dumped the drink in the sink and slammed my personal to-go mug on the counter.

“Yes, please, that’s what I asked you before,” I replied.

She then and with forceful gestures rinsed my cup and remade my drink, this time with soy.
Meanwhile, the three baristas’ headset conversation had switched gears to hushed tones as the drink-maker keeps her head turned away from me. All I can hear are mutterings over whether I actually ordered soy and it sounds like the conclusion among them is that I must be lying.

When my drink was finished I was happy to get out of there. I had only even stopped at this location to see if they were hiring because of all that gentrification happening over by Strong.
Obviously I did not bother asking any of them for an application.



They apologized!

Dear Lisa,

I’m very sorry about the experiences you’ve had in our Mount Hope Avenue store with the way the baristas treat you and mess your drink up, I can understand how frustrating that can be. It is our mission to create inspired moments in each customer’s day, and we definitely didn’t live up to this expectation during your visits. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, I will be sharing your experience with the store’s management team.

Additionally, I would like to invite you back for a better experience by sending you a $15 Starbucks Card. I know this is not why you wrote us, but I recognize how frustrating this is. Please respond to this email with your mailing address and I will send it right out. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to fix something that went wrong.

Caren D.
customer service

I accept your apology Caren, but I might use that gift card at a different location (or the drive thru, hopefully that’s safer). If I could pass on a suggestion to that store’s management it would be, maybe hire cheerier people from now on?


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