Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Barista vs. Coffee Day

I was at Café Coffee Day the other day, and it was absolutely full. I was talking to a friend, having a rather interesting conversation about Indian corporates and business politics. My friend had a cup of coffee, as I sat listening to him. In fifteen minutes, his coffee cup was empty. Two minutes later, a person who appeared to be the manager of the establishment came and requested us to leave as there were ‘other customers waiting’. I won’t use the word ‘politely’ because the action itself was rude, arising purely out of the desire for profit. We walked out, not seeing the point in creating a fuss.

Such an incident has never happened to me at Barista, which is their direct competition here in India. In Starbucks, when I was in Europe, people would sit and read for hours, or just sit around and chat for hours. (Remember Central Perk in ‘Friends’? I don’t think the gang always had something to eat or drink when they visited their favourite hangout). In short, the whole IDEA of a café, in my opinion, is to create an atmosphere of comfort. It’s supposed to be a place where people can just go to be themselves, with or without company. And by asking us to leave, the Coffee Day people not only made me decide I would never patronize them again, it reinforced the thought I’ve always had in my head that the measure of success of an institution depends on how you treat your customers, not on how much money you make. Because money will come and go, but if the customers who give you your business don’t like what you have to offer or the way you offer it to them, they can pack their bags and go elsewhere.

And Coffee Day should realise that.


Sharad said...

Watch it , you dont Coffee Day to send you a judicially notarized email !

Vikram Vasu said...

I told you Barista rocks

aknowkneemoose said...

I too had a similar experience at at a ccd franchise. The place was full, so a friend and I went to the 'take away' counter and bought coffee. By the time the overworked staff gave us the coffee, some of the people sitting at the tables left, and so we decided to sit in the cafe. One of the members of the staff noticed us sitting, and approached us and told us that if we bought coffee from the take away counter, then we were not supposed to sit in the cafe! The nerve! Whereas, just like you said, a member of the Barista staff told me that it's against the rules to ask customers to leave. Well, CCD has a looooooooooooong way to go.

wanderstruck said...

Sharad: Haha...I will stand up for my rights if they do :-)

Vikram Vasu: Hmmm...see below

aknowkneemoose: I think it depends on the location of the particular coffee place. I found out later that my friend had an unpleasant experience at Barista once - so now I don't know which is really better. I guess I'll go with what I experience!

sagar said...

hey even i'd a similar experience at csfe coffee day.the staff out there is so damn rude.& look at the kinda cutlery they use..i mean dat's horrible.
but lemme tell u at Barista i sat with my friends for hours & nobody prompted us even once.
Barista simply Rocks!!!