Tip(s From) Your Bartender

Tip(s From) Your Bartender
Cafe Madeline Bear by kc2ife

Anyone who’s read Yelp reviews for local establishments (or, really, any establishments anywhere) knows how brutal they can be. “Overpriced tasteless crap,” “a piece of coal that is nowhere near diamond standard,”  and “a train wreck” have all been used to describe area restaurants, and one reviewer has even suggested resurrecting “an old Flatbush tradition of serious street side ass whooping” on one Cortleyou Road barista.

Sure, there are legitimately awful places out there–but it also seems worth wondering, when someone writes a totally scathing review of a place you love, how much of a role a simple misunderstanding or a bad day on a Yelper’s part might have played in the blurb.

To try and curb potential bad experiences in the neighborhood, we asked the folks on the other side of Ditmas Park counters if they had any suggestions of their own. Want to know what they said?

  • Get off your phone when placing an order. Really–it will make it easier for both of us to make sure you’re getting what you want.
  • Look out for signs! Often times, things like where to order, bus tub locations, and whether there’s tax are marked clearly. In the same vein, there is usually a self-serve area for milk, sweeteners, lids, and tap water in coffee shops.
  • Consider where you are in line. We’re trying to serve you as quickly and efficiently as possible–but if you just watched five people order in front of you, that usually means your food or drink will be out after theirs.
  • If you can afford a $4-7 drink and the service is good, what’s another dollar? Try and tip on any alcohol and espresso drinks, at least. You’re probably making up for the last three people who didn’t tip, and rent ain’t cheap.
  • If we tell you something is vegan, gluten-free, or full of nuts, trust us–it is.
  • Especially if you’re a repeat customer, consider what we need to know about your order. Is it for here or to go? What size? Do you want a special substitution, particular brand of liquor, or non-dairy milk? If you can answer those questions without us having to ask every time, you’ll be getting your order more quickly and accurately.
  • Please don’t ask for a “tall” drink. Do you mean Starbucks tall, or literally the one in the bigger cup? “Large” is just fine.
  • Opening and closing times are real. Hovering before opening doesn’t mean you’ll get in early, and asking if you can stay just a little longer than everyone else is a bigger problem than you might think. It’s hard telling passersby we’re closed when you’re still sitting leisurely around. “We’re closing in five minutes” means exactly that.
  • Make sure it’s yours before you put your mouth on it.

Are you a food service worker who’d like to add to the list? Or are you a patron of Ditmas Park establishments with a bone to pick? Let us know below what would make you more likely to keep your business at local restaurants and shops.

Photo by kc2ife