Every caffeine drinker with a passion for wobbly chairs, non dairy milk, and misspelled handwritten names becomes a coffee shop regular. It might not have happened yet, but you can’t escape fate. In fact, you’re probably already symptomatic. For instance, are you practicing drink orders in front of the mirror? Are you testing your electrical-outlet-finding abilities? Are you memorizing bathroom codes? If any of this sounds familiar, it’s too late. But fear not, for I have devised some genius ways to ease the transition.

I know from personal experience that becoming a regular at a coffee shop is no small feat. You have to put in the work. Early on in my caffeine addiction, I began doing homework at the cafe near my high school. I would order an oat milk cappuccino and spend the next few hours immersed in dramione fanfiction, savoring the calming coffee shop vibes. About two months into this obsession, I started getting to know the baristas, and eventually, in exchange for even a mediocre knock-knock joke, I’d get an almond croissant, on-the-house, every Friday. Sounds too good to be true? If you follow my guide, all this can be yours.

Go all the time

Although this may seem simple, it’s kind of the entire thing. If you don’t go to the coffee shop regularly, you cannot become a regular. Going all the time will help the staff to remember your face.

Choose a favorite spot

Pop culture tells us that you can’t be a regular anywhere without a special spot. I mean, think about it, do Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross sit anywhere besides that orange couch in Central Perk? The answer is no.

Keep the order conversation short

Your barista has many duties. Although they appreciate a short check-in, they still have to do their jobs. A “how are you doing today?” or a compliment on their latte foam design skills is enough to keep up the relationship without angering the customers in line behind you and stressing out the barista.

Keep your order simple

Although your barista probably enjoys testing their hippocampus every now and again, try to keep things simple. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a vanilla latte but shy away from orders that are needlessly complex. Your barista has several customers, and if you’re going to become a regular, you need to have an order they can easily remember.

Don’t rush your barista

Your barista is working hard. Making a latte seems a lot easier than it is, and when 20 people just ordered, the work environment gets hectic. Please give your barista a break. They will appreciate and remember your patience. People are rarely considerate of baristas.

Clean up after yourself

As fun as it is to go into a coffee shop and make a gigantic mess, consider your barista. They have to keep the shop clean, in addition to making your coffee. If you don’t clean up after yourself, you’ll end up in your barista’s burn book.