August 27, 2010 Leave a comment
This is going to come as a shocker, but I have a complaint about a Starbucks…yes, you read that right – Starbuck, you’ve done me wrong!
Last night my wife and I decided we wanted a late evening Starbucks. When I say late evening, I am talking close to 8pm – unfortunately that’s late for us these days… We pulled up to one of our favorites and I sat in the car with the kids, while she went to get the coffees. To my surprise, my daughter immediately said, “Look, Mommy is coming back.” Mommy is coming back! What do you mean Mommy is coming back! I panicked – could this mean no coffee? The prospect of not having it was tearing me apart! I took a deep breath, and waited to see what was wrong – maybe she just forgot something, I thought calmly. Unfortunately, that was not the case. She sat in the car and explained that as she went up to open the door, the barista came over and told her they were closing. When my wife proceeded to say it’s not even 8 o’clock yet, the barista just laughed and said “yeah, I know”, locking the door. Okay, well, that person’s days as a barista should be numbered because it’s bad enough you are telling me I cannot have my coffee, but you laughed in my face while doing it! Even worse, it was only 7:55pm, so guess what – you’re open for another 5 minutes! If you’re going to lock the door on my face at 7:55pm then your sign should read 6am – 7:55pm!
This leads me to one of my greatest peeves of retail – if you are suppose to be open to a certain hour, then you are open to that hour. Don’t tell me the store is closing in 15 minutes, so you have to come up to the register now. Don’t tell me we aren’t brewing anymore coffee because we cleaned the pot 20 minutes ago; open means open for business! If you are open until 8pm, you serve until 8pm; otherwise, tell me your open until 7:45pm. I understand this barista’s watch could have been running 5 minutes fast, so maybe he thought it was 8pm, but here is the catcher. The thing that leads me to believe his watch wasn’t necessarily running fast – the entire store was cleaned, the chairs were up and he was ready to roll. The store was all but closed at least 10 minutes before he even locked the door.
Many people who have worked retail will now probably start telling me how much time it takes to clean a store and get customers out. How tired they are and how they are just trying to be efficient and clean as much as they can, since in many cases, there are no customers coming in late in the day anyway. Fair enough, as a manager, I am all for my employees – but you shouldn’t do it to the point you look close, or give the impression the customer is being inconvenient for coming in close to closing time.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I’ve gotten dirty looks for coming in late, have been told I couldn’t try something on because they were closing in 10 minutes, informed hot food wasn’t available because the grill was already cleaned, and the list goes on. This is not good service and worse of all, for a mere 15 minute head start, you lose sales and possibly loyal customers. The opening shift has to come in to prep, so it should be expected the closing shift is staying late to close. It’s not a difficult formula. In fact in my job, I have been asked to stay late on many occasions – I expect it. I don’t just tell my customers that it’s 4:45pm, so they need to start wrapping it up for the day. So when I do leave on time, it’s a nice surprise.
Marathon runners don’t strive to stop 5 yards before the finish line, Football players don’t purposely stop 1 yard from the end zone (unless you are MJD), the year doesn’t end on December 29th (well, maybe on the 21st in 2012, but that’s a whole other topic), and the last day of school is not really the 4th to last, so when you say you are open until 8pm, you should not close at 7:55pm…