Dear Diary; I have to wait how long??

and there is about a six minute wait on coffee at the moment is that ok?

How do people walk into a busy cafe and expect anything in less than five minutes? I would never, is it because I am more experienced in the field of how long things take? Is it because I am aware that I am not the only person in the universe? I don’t know what it is but what I do know is how often I will tell people their coffee will be six minutes and they walk off in disgust. Really? You have an appointment in two minutes? Really? What are you doing here then? Your failure at time management is not my problem.

can’t you just push my order ahead? I am in a hurry.

No I can’t. That wouldn’t be fair on the five people who ordered before you now would it? How do you know they aren’t in a hurry? Are you more important then they are? Is your money worth more? Your time? No.

ugghh where is my coffee? I have been waiting ten minutes.

 Hi!! It’s me! I took your order, see I wrote the time on it, see it says 8.46, the time right now is 8.50, utilising basic maths that means you have been waiting for four minutes. Not ten. Also I told you there was a ten minute wait and you begrudgingly said that was ok. Hey look it’s 8.51 and your coffee is ready! It was ready quicker than I said! You should be happy about that right? Wrong? Not going to say thanks? Going to storm out? Ok bye. 

I am so happy that these people are in the minority. This doesn’t happen too often. The whole scenario plays out maybe once every few months. People refusing a five minute wait happens maybe once a day or three, our wait time can sometimes max out at fifteen minutes in the middle of big coffee rushes and even then most people are happy to wait and we understand if the odd few people can’t wait that long. We’ve started a text ordering system to shorten wait times for people on tight time schedules and most importantly, we don’t speak to people the way I wrote the above piece. People can be frustrating, confusing, and rude but the one and only remedy for a customer with a bad attitude is to be a server with a fantastic one.

How long is too long to wait for a coffee? How do you decide whether to wait? Is quality a factor? Where do you go for coffee that is worth the wait?

 Love Caz xoxo xxxx

Dear Diary; Ban the Long Mach!

Long macchiatos are stupid. There, I said it.

What is a Long Mach? Good question! Ask five people and you will likely get five different answers. Why? Well, because there is no such thing. A long mach is an invention of some clown who wanted a cool sounding drink but was too much of a wuss to drink a regular macchiato, then, like a game of Chinese whispers, it got passed around and changed and now it has gotten way out of hand. I wrote about this topic back in 2007 on my other blog but the problem is still here four years later!

Now my boss Alex has agreed that it has to go and we are  planning to start a “Ban the Long Mach” campaign to convert all long mach drinkers to what they really want. All versions of Long Macchiatos are really a variation of another coffee, let me explain.

Long Mach A or “Traditional” Long Mach – double shot espresso with a dash of foam is really a double shot macchiato

Long Mach B – double shot espresso topped up with milk small glass is a double shot piccolo latte

Long Mach C – double shot espresso topped up with milk tall glass is a double shot latte

Long Mach D – double shot espresso topped with hot water with a dash of foam is a  long black with a dash of foam

Long Mach E – double shot espresso topped with hot water and then topped with milk is a double shot latte 3/4 hot water. 

Do you understand the problem now? The problem isn’t making any of these coffees. Physically making a long mach is not hard, we get way more annoying coffees all the time. The problem is that every time someone asks for a “long mach” we have to figure out which of these five versions (and there are probably other ones too) they actually want and people generally get annoyed that we can’t instantly read their mind regarding their pretend coffee. One customer sent one back that I made saying that “it’s not like the one I have at Dome” – I secretly took that as a compliment…

How do you feel about Long Macchiatos? Take the poll!

Do you work in a cafe? What other versions have you seen? What coffee do you hate?? Leave it in the comments!

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Dear Diary: Vegan Update

Just in case anyone was wondering what happened with our vegan friend. As much as I was kinda annoyed at the  question, I am not the devil and I did want to help out.

I let her know I’d ask and see what I could do but until then her best bet was to keep adapting what we have. She replied saying thanks and told me that last time she was in the only thing suggested to her was “the big breakfast without meat or dairy” which obviously left basically nothing. I was annoyed that whoever spoke to her that day didn’t put a little more thought into it, there are loads of breakfast items on our menu that can be altered to suit vegans. So I gave her a list of breakfast suggestions. She hasn’t replied but hopefully it helped!

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Related Posts

Dear Diary – Vegans are sometimes lovely. Sometimes annoying.

Dear Diary – Vegans are sometimes lovely. Sometimes annoying.

There is this woman who has been coming into work lately who has ‘just turned’ vegan. Today I went onto our Facebook page which I moderate and there was a wall post from her asking if we could please consider putting a vegan option on the breakfast menu “and not just *menu item* without the eggs”.

I guess it is an innocent question but it really annoyed me. A vegan diet wipes out a good majority of popular breakfast foods and making an entire breakfast option vegan will be awesome…for about three people. Veganism is a choice. Whether you make the choice because of morals or weight or just because you feel like it, is irrelevant. It is a choice all the same and if you are choosing to have an incredibly annoying food preference then you should accept the fact you will have trouble finding whole menu items that cater to your needs. You will often have to get things without certain ingredients, you will have to adapt menu items to suit you, it is annoying but so is your diet that nobody is forcing you to follow.

We have recently upgraded a few recipes to make them gluten free. Gluten intolerance or coeliac disease is a real condition that sufferers do not have a choice in and I am sure that if you asked anyone suffering from gluten intolerance they would wish they did not have the problem. Veganism? Not a disease so I have little sympathy.

On the flip-side to needy vegans, most vegans who come in are extremely appreciative that we will alter any menu item to suit their diet. We remove meat and eggs, cook things in oil instead of butter, add extra vegetables. We have no problem, at all, catering for vegans. We just don’t have and probably will not ever have specific vegan meals.

Thanks

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Dear Diary: Some customers are revolting

Last week I was clearing a table, there were two used tissues sitting on it. They were covered in spots of blood. Customers thought it would be nice to leave them for me to clean up. They didn’t even put it on a plate, they just left it on the table so I would have to touch them.

Isn’t that nice?

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Dear Diary: Why are your newspapers so messy?

Last Sunday a customer approached my workmate Kirsty and asked,

uh…why are your newspapers so messy??

Old man, wherever you are, it’s because of this…

Breakfast Leftovers

Apparently he skipped the article about cleaning up after yourself

That, my friends, is both parts of The West Australian, one with its cover pulled off and all the various newspaper magazines removed. The Weekend Australian, divided into its eight million sections and haphazardly slapped in a pile, plus two gossip magazines. Lovely! My favourite part about this incident though is that this table is directly in front of the magazine and newspaper rack, a mere one metre distance between them!

You could be excused for thinking this is just a once off. That this doesn’t happen all the time, but you would be wrong because things like this are an everyday occurrence at the cafe, on Sunday we get about eight copies of  The Sunday Times and if we have one copy still in one piece at the end of the day with all its sections intact, we consider it a ‘good day’. It rarely happens!

And that is why our newspapers are always so messy.

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Related posts: Dear Diary: Put your goddamn newspaper away

Dear Diary: Sending food back. Yay or Nay?

Chrissy Teigan is a swimsuit model who LOVES food, she is also  on Twitter and is hilarious so please follow her if you have Twitter.  She recently started a blog called So Delushious ! and it is well worth a read. A while back she wrote this post about sending food back in restaurants.

I found it interesting that Chrissy and many of the commenters would rather put up with crappy food than send it back and get a new meal. As a waitress, I encourage people to send back food if there is genuinely something wrong with it. If it is over or under cooked. If it is different to what the menu stated. If you asked for no ‘A’ and it comes out with ‘A’. Or if it just generally badly made, soggy, tasteless, bitter etc. If you point out a genuine problem with a meal, most waitstaff will recognise it and will have no problem taking it back to the kitchen, good chefs don’t mind refiring food when they see they have made a mistake. Good chefs are passionate and would be embarrassed about sending out something bad. You can bet your new meal will be cooked to perfection.

Of course you must notice I said good chefs, I have worked with one chef in particular who thought he was the best chef on Earth and who would make an excuse every time a meal was sent back. It was never “his fault”, it was always “well you must have taken it to the wrong table” or “that’s not what the docket said” or “I went to school with that guy and he just hates me” <—-seriously.  He was one of the worst chefs I have ever worked with both skill wise and personality wise. In saying that though he never did anything dirty or revolting to anyone’s food who complained and I have never worked with any chef who did exact any form of  ‘revenge’ on customers. So I think horror stories like that are exaggerated and/or few and far between.

So genuine problem? Send it back. Do not, however, send a meal back if it is cooked properly but you don’t really like it. I mean, it is cooked exactly how it should be, there is nothing inherently wrong with it, it is just not to your taste. It is not our problem if you chose badly for your taste. It would be like me deciding I want to give brains a go, (I cannot stand brains, it freaks me out and I hate the texture) getting my meal, deciding I don’t like it, then asking for a free replacement. That is just silly, restaurants are not “try before you buy”.

If you do decide to send something back the most important thing is to not be a jerk about it. As I mentioned, wait staff and chefs are likely to be embarrassed and happy to fix any genuine problems. Being a jerk about it only makes things worse. Be clear about what the problem is and what you would like done about it. For example, “excuse me, I ordered my steak med-rare and this steak is medium, may I have a new one made? Thanks” or “hi, I my salad seems to be missing the dressing? May I please have some? Thanks” or “excuse me, I ordered my fish grilled but it came out battered, I am in a hurry and I don’t have time to wait for a new one so I will eat it but I don’t want to pay full price for this”. Three extremely reasonable complaints that should get the required result and will maintain friendly relations with the wait staff. Please please do not eat your entire meal and then complain because, well, you ate the evidence and it will come across as if you are just trying to get a free feed.

Happy dining!

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx

Do you send food back?

Have you worked in a venue that didn’t take send backs very professionally?

Put your stories in the comments!

Dear Diary: Opinions please!

I read this article over on WAtoday last week and I would like your opinions on it please.

Me? I thought it was the stupidest thing I have ever read (exaggeration for effect). Really? Oh how dare we stop serving breakfast at 11.30am and not let you ignore the menu and order whatever the hell you want. What horrible oppressive folk we are!

*warning mini rant ahead*

While I am on the subject of breakfast let me tell you something that annoys me greatly. If the menu says “poached eggs with tomato, toast and bacon” and you say to me “I’ll have two poached eggs and bacon” whilst pointing to said menu item, I will assume you mean two serves of the meal, not two actual eggs. You don’t dictate how many eggs you get. The menu does. That is why it says “eggs” and not “egg”. If you are confused you can try saying “how many eggs do you get?”. Are we clear? Wonderful!

Love Carrie xoxo xxxx