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To tell a business owner her employee is crap?

(47 Posts)
Anon75 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:31:25

I've namechanged as it's sensitive

I know a lovely woman who bought quite a bit of product from our business when setting up a cafe a while ago. I wouldn't say she is a friend at the moment but definitely a close acquaintance and on the way to becoming a friend.

Her cafe has done really well, but in the last week or two she has had a new member of staff every time I've been in (owner not present) and to say she's having teething problems is an understatement. She can't make coffee (she thinks a latte is coffee with a splash of hot milk- and I had to correct her when gave me a half full cup, which was cold) , she constantly overcharges even though the prices are written on the wall, and she gets flustered to the point where it makes customers uncomfortable.

AIBU to mention carefully to the owner about this new member of staff? I know from firsthand experience that a new business needs to start strong, and I can see her quickly getting a bad review online.

Anon75 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:33:05

I should also add that this employee is so bad, I don't go in to the cafe if she is serving, as I think it is a waste of money!

CarcerDun Wed 25-Oct-17 22:33:46

Please do. The owner really needs to know.

BlondeB83 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:35:55

Definitely tell the owner!

NoCryLilSoftSoft Wed 25-Oct-17 22:37:42

So your friend hasn’t trained her staff properly? Yes she needs to fix this. She could end up being responsible for an accident if she has also failed to cover H&S training.

Goosegrass Wed 25-Oct-17 22:39:11

Check first that she isn't her daughter or niece!

Anon75 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:42:29

@NoCryLilSoftSoft

Point taken on the coffee, I wouldn't know about health and safety, but to not even have a grasp of the prices when they're written down? Or getting so flustered that you start putting your stress on other customers when it's not even that busy?

NoCryLilSoftSoft Wed 25-Oct-17 22:44:36

Or getting so flustered that you start putting your stress on other customers when it's not even that busy?

Umm yes. If she’s is flustered that means she isn’t confident to be doing the task and so should be superivised until she is. Why is she being left alone if she isn’t adequately trained or confident yet? Her manager is setting her up for failure.

CaoNiMwahaha Wed 25-Oct-17 22:44:42

Why would it be any different if it were her daughter or niece?

JustHereForThePooStories Wed 25-Oct-17 22:45:05

Yes, please do.

I've stopped going to my usual cafe because of a new hire. I don't know the owner and this person seems to be a manager so I had nobody to say it to.

I gave her a few chances but the final visit included-
Her calling me "hun" and "doll"
Paying for a muffin, not getting it, and being accused of not having paid for it when I reminded her I'd ordered and paid for it
Ordered a latte and an americano. Both were identical americanos. I reminded her I asked for a latte and she argued that one was. It wasn't.

I typically went there 3-5 mornings a week, spending maybe £5 each time. Not huge money, but good regular business.

I now go to another local place with pleasant baristas.

stonecircle Wed 25-Oct-17 22:46:44

I would mention it, but I think the fault lies entirely with your friend. It is her responsibility to interview and select staff who are up to the job and give them all the necessary training. If she doesn’t have enough business sense to do that, then I’m not sure how long her business will survive.

PoppyPopcorn Wed 25-Oct-17 22:47:22

Tell her. This new employee has probably fed her a load of flannel at interview about how of course she knows how to make a latte and can add in her head so well she doesn't rely on the till but it's all rubbish.

A very poor employee can affect trade and in this case you're confirming that's exactly what's happening. She needs to get rid.

Laying the blame of the employer for lack of training is ridiculous - if the employee is so crap that she's getting flustered dealing with a couple of customers and is unable to read prices off the wall, she needs to be given the boot.

stonecircle Wed 25-Oct-17 22:52:18

But Poppy, if you were employing someone to work in your cafe, surely at a basic level you’d ask them to describe the difference between different types of coffee, do some basic mental arithmetic, show them how to use the equipment then get them to make something to demonstrate they’ve got the hang of it etc. Wouldn’t you? confused

PoppyPopcorn Wed 25-Oct-17 22:52:47

Umm yes. If she’s is flustered that means she isn’t confident to be doing the task and so should be superivised until she is. Why is she being left alone if she isn’t adequately trained or confident yet? Her manager is setting her up for failure.

This is crazy. Small businesses do not have the resources to hand hold, supervise and coax people who are not up to the job until they feel confident. Yes maybe in a large shop like Starbucks or Costa they'd have the people to do that, but in a small cafe or coffee shop you need people who know what they're about and can just get on with it.

NoCryLilSoftSoft Wed 25-Oct-17 22:55:13

This new employee has probably fed her a load of flannel at interview about how of course she knows how to make a latte and can add in her head so well she doesn't rely on the till but it's all rubbish.

That’s the kind of thing you would observe them doing over a shift before leaving them to it, so again, if the manager has just accepted it as true then it’s their fault for not making sure it’s true. It isn’t crap to blame lack of training on management. It’s exactly where the blame lies if staff aren’t adequately trained.

Ploppie4 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:56:14

Ask what training she has had and say you think she will be very good once she’s had lots more intensive training

Wdigin2this Wed 25-Oct-17 22:56:31

Oh yes definitely, this person could make or break the fledging company!

NoCryLilSoftSoft Wed 25-Oct-17 22:56:32

but in a small cafe or coffee shop you need people who know what they're about and can just get on with it.

Again, you don’t just take someone’s word for it that they can do the job and then leave them on their own! You supervise for at least one shift to make sure they are telling the truth!

scrabbler3 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:56:44

The cafe in my local Waitrose goes a bit bonkers whenever the woman who usually runs it is not present. The kids who work there are lovely but so drippy. But...unlike Waitrose's cafe supervisor, your friend has a lot at stake, she may have put her house up as collateral and all sorts. She should be monitoring her staff more closely. As a more experienced businesswoman, you can point her in the right direction. We all need a bit of guidance at the beginning.

PoppyPopcorn Wed 25-Oct-17 22:57:03

Stonecircle: yes it would be common sense to ask someone if they knew their mocha from their latte. But we don't know this person's background and interview - they are maybe one of those people who talk a good fight and can charm the birds out of the trees at interview, but are completely useless in the actual job.

The cafe owner has two options - loads of training which they may not have the time to do, or get rid and find someone more switched on.

stonecircle Wed 25-Oct-17 22:57:05

Poppy - it’s not crazy. How long would it take to do this -

to describe the difference between different types of coffee, do some basic mental arithmetic, show them how to use the equipment then get them to make something to demonstrate they’ve got the hang of it

30 minutes?

NoCryLilSoftSoft Wed 25-Oct-17 22:58:58

loads of training which they may not have the time to do

It’s not really loads of training to show her the different coffees and go over the prices and till.

Capricorn76 Wed 25-Oct-17 22:59:45

Tell her. I've done similar with a local shop and it was appreciated. She'd rather me tell her than someone slag her shop off on online review sites.

PoppyPopcorn Wed 25-Oct-17 23:00:28

Agree that a trial shift would have been ideal - but again in a very small business this might not be practical to have the business owner supervising. She's obviously taken a risk on this person who has presented themselves as an accomplished barista and customer focused, when they're anything but.

She can either invest considerable time or effort to bring them up to scratch, or sack them and find someone else. The right course of acrion will depend on a whole host of other factors.

Cookingongas Wed 25-Oct-17 23:01:48

Tell her. I'm a small business owner- no one told me for far too long, and often when asked for feedback gave feedback upon ME not said employee. So I had no reflection until some e finally told me. Then every one after agreed how awful he was sadangry

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