OK, I’ll admit it. As a customer I can be, at times, acerbic. I will not step meekly to the left and accept whatever is thrown at me. If I’m going to let you swipe my Amex card I have certain expectations and if they are not fulfilled… well…
Now, while my expectations are high, they are not unattainable. Just because you have tuna, salmon, and rice on the menu does not mean I can order a sushi plate. It’s OK to ask for something off the dinner menu at lunch but when they say ‘no’ accept it and move on. It’s not OK to claim a non-existent food allergy to coerce a chef to leave something off that you simply don’t like. I have an aversion to green peppers. If they are in there I can’t taste anything else. I’ve had chefs decline to change the dish for me, whether for the dishes integrity or because it has been prepped already doesn’t really matter, but they’ve then come up with an alternative for me. That’s taking care of your customers.
Integrity of the dish. Hmmm. Now that’s an interesting concept. A lot of chefs put a lot of thought and energy into creating a dish and some just don’t feel comfortable in sending it out altered as it is no longer their vision. You know what? That’s OK. As long as they are still able to give people with intense dislikes or food allergies alternatives, their vision is not compromised.
But how far its to far when trying to maintain this integrity?
I know some people take there coffee very seriously. The recent blow up heard up and down the Atlantic seaboard that started here shows the extremes some go to over their preferred cup of joe. Part of this could be the coffee houses creating a chef-like mystique around their baristas in lieu of better pay or benefits instead of what they really are: bartenders without the big tippers. Don’t get me wrong, their job is tough. I can, and have, bartended but I don’t think I could do the barista thing. Too many variables and I would end up over-caffeinating the nervous and fattening the dieters. But chefs they are not.
Many of the coffees served today have been adulterated to the point where to claim some sort of taste integrity is ludicrous. Can you still tell that it was made with hand picked African beans then brewed with triple filtered water at the perfect temperature after you have added a shot of over sugared syrup and topped it with whipped cream? Probably not.
So, as I started, I can be a bit acerbic when I can’t get what I want. My wife, however, isn’t. She is, however, pregnant. As a coffee lover this is a little rough on her. Even decaf has a bit of caffeine so she avoids it except for special treats. Like people with food allergies you would think Starbucks would try to accommodate their pregnant patrons by making a frappachino with a shot of decaf rather than regular… You would be wrong. But I should let my wife tell the story…. For that, go here.
It strikes me as bit odd that a company, once focused on world domination but now suffering from a contraction, would try to retain as many customers as possible. I guess, here, I am wrong.