(Editor's Note: In our continuing series "From A Girl's Perspective" we have Laura teaching you how to pick up a Barista. If you're not into coffee shops, most of this info would translate well to waitresses as well. Good luck!)
She’s always happy to see you. She gets you whatever you want. She’s the best part of your morning. And you’re not even dating her.
Take it from me, a real, live barista chick. You’re probably making at least one of these mistakes:
Conversing about the bathroom. It’s fine if you have to go to the bathroom, but don’t explain to her why you need the bathroom key three times during the four hours you’re there. A prostate joke, a “coffee doesn't agree with me,” a drinking-all-night explanation: none of those are sexy.
Leaving a mess at your table. Come on.
Leaning on the counter. It invades her space and weirds her out. Stand a normal distance from the counter.
Ordering a really complicated girly drink. Not impressive. It’s fine if you like a girly drink but if you are insistent on “caramel drizzle!” or “extra extra whipped cream,” she will think that you’re either really high-maintenance, or buying it for your girlfriend.
Coming in high or wasted. You’d think it would be common sense, but you’d be surprised how many guys blow their beery breath in my face (at 2 in the afternoon) and expect me to fall all over them. Gross. Gross. Gross.
Touching. Everything. Please don’t touch everything. That is something that 3-year-olds do. Picking up a muffin and examining it does not make you look like Brad Pitt. It makes you look unsanitary.
Acting like you’re already dating her. “Hey babe, can you top this off for me?” will get you a glare and a reluctant yes. It will not get you a date.
Dumping all your change in her tip jar. Even if it’s a lot. It’s a treat for her to see BILLS in her tip jar, and if there are two working, make it two. That way you know she’s getting one all to herself.
You might be thinking: “Laura! You just stole all my game! What do I do now?”
Funny you should ask, bro.
Here are a few ideas:
Casually, happily, pick up the tab for your friends. Don’t be awkward about it, just act like you do this every day. She’ll think that you DO do this every day and you will be rewarded with a smile and a good reputation.
Leave her a good tip. Even if she messes up your order. Every barista remembers a one or two-dollar tip on a medium coffee. She will take a second look at you and it will be a positive one.
Make conversation. Good conversation. Here are some helpful starters: How early do you have to get up, anyway? Do you have any weekend plans? What’s the most annoying thing somebody’s ever ordered? What’s your favorite pastry? (and then buy it) What’s your favorite drink? (and then buy it) Who’s your favorite regular? What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened here? Do you get to pick the music?
And finally, the kicker:
Bring somebody unexpected with you. So you’ve been tipping well, smiling, treating your friends, conversing, all of it. What next? Bring your grandma. Or your Boys and Girls Club little brother. Or your real little brother. Or, best yet, a puppy. Stick your head in the door, “Excuse me! Can I bring in Rambo? I’ll hold him the whole time!” Even if she says no, she’ll remember you as “the guy with the puppy” for at least a month.
I’ve helped you all I can - the rest is up to you!