stop the line!

2018-08-24 07.44.17Anyone who’s read my blog posts will sense an obsession with coffee shops, breakfast and routine. These come together when I’ve got an early start to do the weekly shop at Waitrose.

The routine is simple. Up early (0645) and on the road to beat the traffic on Trumpington Road and then I’m sat down in Waitrose’ coffee shop soon after 0730 with a croissant and coffee and the Guardian to start my day. I’ll forgive the baristas who seem incapable of multi-tasking because generally it works and both the croissant and the coffee are first class.

Last week the system broke down. No plain croissants.  Plenty of other pastries including other croissant options but 50% of my essential breakfast missing.

No problem I thought. Why not pop round to the Waitrose in store bakery? Not allowed according to the barista. We just get to accept what they send us. Then OK I’ll go and get one and you can run it through your till. Also not possible because the coffee shop tills have different prices. But he said that I could pay for my croissant at one of the other tills and then he’d sell me the jam and butter to go with it.

Fortunately as I was doing this I came across a gaggle of Waitrose employees  including one who was clearly a little senior to the rest. I told him my story and hey presto he sorted it. I guess he just told the barista to charge it as though I’d bought it from the cafe.

But why did it happen this way? Surely croissants are an essential part of a coffee shop’s breakfast offering and if there’s none there the barista should surely be ’empowered’ to go and get some. Simple as that. Famously industrial manufacturing quality systems in Japanese factories allow employees to ‘stop the line’ if there’s a quality defect. No croissants is a quality defect so the barista should have been able to act accordingly.

Anyway full marks in the end but thankfully I wasn’t at a Costa outlet in a Tesco. Costa wouldn’t let you consume a croissant bought in the main store even though it had itself run out. But that’s another story.

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