The one on the left appeared to be serving beer. The one on the right was the queue beside the coffee machines where two people were serving coffees and teas beneath signs saying " Hot Drinks". (Click the picture for full size where these signs are clearly legible.)
I wanted a tea and a coffee. Which queue would you have joined?
I rarely take the time to make complaints but this is the exception. I have just sent the following to the owners of the Sloe Cafe Bar in London Paddington Station . . .
Sheila and I visited the Sloe Cafe Bar at Paddington on Saturday Morning. I went in to order and together with another customer, a lady, saw where the coffees were being served and joined on the back of the queue where it said "Hot Drinks". (See the picture)
Service was slow to say the least, the layout is not designed to make it easy for the two people working in this area to serve at the same time. However we reached the end of the queue and I asked for a Latte and a Tea.
I was asked for a ticket. What ticket? "You have to pay over there, get a ticket, then you come here to collect your order." "Where is the sign that says that?" I asked. "Oh, most people know!"
How many 'regular' customers do they have there?! It's in a *station* for goodness sake!
So, the lady and I then joined the back of the other queue on the left.
Despite the fact we had already queued for getting on for 8-9 minutes, there was no attempt made to push us through quickly, or to explain we had already queued once. So we queued for maybe another 6 or 7 minutes whilst the people in front ordered food from an Irish chap (who had just returned from his break). He was very nice, laughing and chatty, but given the length of the queue, he might have swapped chat for speed!
Having ordered, obtained my ticket and gained his attention, I made it clear to him that I thought the ordering system was awful. I'm a senior business manager and it's so easy to see that two simple, bold signs, hanging over the counter, would solve a lot of problems. [Order Here] & [Collect Your Order Here].
(See the picture - how easy would it be to do that?)
His answer? "Oh it's Head Office, they won't let us put up signs!"
So Head Office LIKE having unhappy customers do they? Or do they simply rely on the fact that 99% of their trade is passing trade whom they never see twice?
Having ordered, the lady and I once again joined the back of the queue at which we had queued first. After another 5-6 minutes we were served. Again, there was no attempt to hurry us through even though these were the people who had told us to queue up again 10 minutes ago!
My coffee and tea came - the tea without milk or a spoon, both of which I had to request.
Before I left, I commented to the man serving coffees that their ordering system is disorganised and confusing (let's look at this from the point of view that *everyone* wanting a coffee has to queue twice) and he said, "Yes we know."