Bitching about the Bucks

So a few weeks ago I talked about a particular experience at Starbucks. The main point of said article was that I was shocked at how terribly slow the service was. However, I did say that it might have had something to do with the fact I went on non-peak hours and so I withheld final judgment. I would like to return to that topic to give my final verdict.

The Starbucks at 2252 Broadway (between 81st and 80th) is quite possibly the single worst Starbucks in the United States. They seem to be partially deaf as they cannot hear when you order an extra shot of espresso for your drink. My boyfriend and I EACH ordered it differently, and NEITHER time were we heard even after the third repetition. The conversations went a bit like this:

Me: Hi, I’d like an iced triple grande non-fat latte.

Starbucks: Iced grande skim latte?

Me: triple.

Starbucks: Iced grande skim latte?

Me: With an extra shot of espresso.

Starbucks: huh?

Me: I want a grande skim latte, but with an extra shot.

Starbucks: So you want a grande skim latte with an extra shot.

Me: On ice

Starbucks: Iced grande skim latte?

Me: Fine..whatever.

Eventually I told the person who was making it that I wanted an extra shot, and, after giving me a look as if I just asked them to put wolfsbane in my drink, she complied.

WHY IS THAT CONCEPT SO HARD? I am not sure what the deal is in New York and coffee, but it is a constant disappointment. I mean aren’t New Yorkers known for ordering ridiculously long complicated coffee? You know “Iced, soy, vanilla, sugarfree, …” All I did was add ONE thing, which I assumed is the most common addition to coffee.

I generally have the same problem at all coffee shops on the island of Manhattan, so that is not what makes this Starbucks the worst. A botched order, even consistently, does not earn it “the worst” in my book. The problem is that their service is not only incompetent it is slow too. It is slow in the morning, during the rush, in the afternoon, in the evening, basically any time you go. Why is this? Starbucks are generally slower in New York than they were in Arkansas, Tennessee, or Texas, but this location is tragically slow. One of the main problems might be that you never know if your order is up because they don’t call it out. So you have to watch them make each drink, and hope you know what you are looking for to see if it is yours. This is more difficult when they screw up your order. I once sat there and watched for a latte that had an extra shot only to realize that “my drink” had been hanging out on the little bar for 5 minutes.

So…I’ve decided to swear off this location, and I hope it is one of the many locations which are being closed. It’s too pathetic for words, and if I knew it would be read I would certainly complain to the company itself.

I actually wrote this review from a DIFFERENT Starbucks location. They do a pretty good job at Columbus and 86th.

I still have not found a New York coffee shop worth a positive review. My demand for coffee shops are small:

  1. Comfy chairs
  2. Decent coffee
  3. Okay service
  4. Not overbearing music
  5. Free Wi-Fi

Is that so much to ask? I’m not even demanding stellar quality of any of those criteria.


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