Making your latte, working with the motto "just say yes," dealing with the hobos, the clueless, the regulars, and amazing(ly dumb) customers. I'm your starbucks barista.

Jul 16

VIVANNOS: a study.

I don’t hate this drink platform, but the vivannos are making it difficult for me to love them and want them to be a part of our permanent menu.  A lot of my issues are things that I personally am irked by, but I think that the cons might outweigh the pros.  At least from my point of view.  Let’s see.

Reasons why I don’t like making Vivannos:

1. Each one takes significantly longer to make than other drinks.  Today while I was on bar, I started on a venti dry cappuccino (which honestly is impossible and makes espresso connoisseurs cringe) while an awesome barista started on an OMBB.  A venti dry cappuccino is one of the most time consuming espresso drinks.  By the time I had capped and given the drink out, my partner had just started the blend the drink.  Maybe that doesn’t mean anything to a customer, but that really stuck out to me.

2. Someone orders it and then says “I can’t have dairy!”  That’s fine - we can do it with soy.  But then the protein powder is dairy… so you can have it without that as well.  Which makes the BC just soy milk, mocha, and a banana… which will give the drink a different consistency.  This isn’t really what the drink is.

3. Along the same lines: this is also just a lot of talk and difficulties between the customers and the barista taking the order.  People complain that starbucks is so complicated (what size?! i just want a big!!!! grad? grand? UGH!) and I love when a customer can easily understand the drink.  It makes things easier for both parties.  If they want to change or have a problem with the drink, they can tell us before we make it instead of 3 sips after.  All of this is adding to the confusion.

4. The consistancy is really liquidy which always looks incorrect.  Which causes me to second guess myself.  Wait… I used the small yellow scoop?  Yea… or did I just automatically picked up the grande one.  Uh - I don’t way to remakeeee thisss.  During a rush, I can’t have things distracting me so much.

5. Unlike any of the frappuccinos, we can only make one at a time.  If someone orders 3 tall mocha frappuccinos we could make them in one blender pitcher (even though there’s no lines for 3 tall MFs, experienced baristas can eye it well in one blend.) If someone orders 3 orange mango banana blend, we have to make each one individually. 

6. I feel like I’m Double Dare when I’m trying to get the bananas out of the bin.  Tongs + Unpeeled bananas = slippery fucking mess.  Its like after I struggle getting them out, I have to catapult them over to my little brother in a monkey costume.

7. No, you can’t get it in a tall.  And, no, sir you can’t get the biggest one.  Because you just can’t.  Do we have to have one of these conversations again?  And on a different note, you can, but you really shouldn’t put whipped cream on it.   No, you can’t get a banana in your mocha frappuccino.  Tough.

8. Unlike blenders after frappuccinos, the blender pitcher of a vivanno can’t just be rinsed out with water.  Because the fiber/protein powder clings to the walls of the pitcher, we have to take a scrub along each wall to make sure the venti java chip frappucino doesn’t have any fiber or protein in it.  

9. They made us (me) write “Try is with a shot of matcha” on the boards.  Whenever a customer repeats this to the person taking their order, the barista goes “a shot of matcha?!”  Baristas speak in scoop terms when it comes to matcha.  This adds (at least on the first day) an extra minute in conversation whenever a customer requests this, and we have no idea that they got this wording from the phrase.

10. I’m a total tool when I have to yell across the floor, “WE NEED MORE BANANAS” during a rush. 

11. There’s always like at least another tall sized cup left! why so much waste?!

12. The banana chocolate grosses. me. out.  I tried putting a shot in it.  I tried putting sugar free vanilla in it to sweeten it.  I tried a pump of white mocha instead.  I tried to even add raspberry to it.  No good.  People ask me all the time what drinks taste like, and if they asked me what this tasted like, I wouldn’t be able to tell them.  I wouldn’t be able to tell them because I don’t know how to sell it being honest.  How’s the eggnog latte?  EXTRA creamy - perfect for cold days!  How’s the honey latte?  The sweetness of the honey and bitter and boldness of the espresso add such an interesting taste - a lot of people have been ordering them… WITH the whipped cream!  How’s the Banana Chocolate Blend? GROSS - PLEASE DON’T ORDER IT!

13. Its awkward as hell to call out.  Maybe my store is doing it wrong, but because it only comes in one size, we aren’t including size in the call out.  I’ve gone on auto pilot to include the size.  Now I’m saying Single…..grande…uh …. banana chocolate… vivanno… blend… thing.  Actually, I don’t even think Vivanno is in the individual drink name. Tomorrow I’ll look up the correct way to call them out.

Reason why I do like making Vivannos:

1. They make me not hate frappuccinos.  Maybe that was the whole point of this, to make us love frappuccinos again.  Really, I can already tell the difference for me :)  I’ll take a few grande extra carmel drizzle mocha frappuccino over one orange mango banana blend.

2. The OMB +Matcha makes a pretty rad color

3. Whenever I look at the “Vivanno Nourishing Blends” cup, I’m reminded of how to spell “nourishing.”  Incase you were wondering, it is not “nurishing.” which I wrote on the boards during promo.  It took us until the next night to spot it.  

4. Our goal was to sell at least 20 the first day.  We ended up selling over 70!  We’re making money!

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