May 24, 2008

Edwards Jones, Miramar: How Not To Run A Cafe

Poneke last week had a cautionary tale about the new cafe on Karori Park. We thought we should share an experience from earlier today at another establishment.

On the way back from the California Garden Centre this morning, and with time tight, we decided to give Edwards Jones another go. Last time we visited (maybe a month ago) the experience was OK (coffee and food were served reasonably quickly - but service at the till was awful - EFTPOS transaction did not connect but having passed the machine over the staff member disappeared into the kitchen leaving me holding a non-responsive EFTPOS gadget for 3 minutes waiting for help. Eventually the owner jumped up from the table at which she was eating to offer help and was apologetic).

Today, on arrival, instead of taking our order at the till as was the case on all previous visits we were instructed to find a table and told that someone would be around soon to take our order. I said we just wanted coffee and a pastry but the staff member repeated that we should go sit down and she would be over soon.

We followed orders. 12 minutes pass. Four customers are allowed to place orders at the till on arrival . We suspect that the constant steam of new arrivals was part of the reason for our non-service but there was plenty of chatter going on with the "barista" in between customers.

After 12 minutes we decided to depart and because of other commitments went without our morning caffeine fix. (We would have gone earlier if it had not been very a very interesting conversation at the next table about New Zealand politics. Very anti-Labour but unsure what to do with their votes. Two were convinced that they should give Key a go. One was a bit worried by recent TV performances, and the final participant asked the question "but is he strong enough to keep Winston Peters under control?" No one seemed to have an answer. I was too polite to join their private conversation.)

The staff at Edwards Jones are young and inexperienced so we give them some latitude, but the owner of this establishment should really be emphasising the importance of customer relations. No one should have been subjected to the treatment we were given today. It was plain rude.

We will go back in a month to see if there has been any improvement.