Friday, February 22, 2008

That Was Just Nasty

I'm making my post today, cause it's my birthday and I'm going out of town for the weekend, I won't have time to make a post on Sunday. This happened to me last week.

I’m sitting in my favorite Starbucks drinking my fancy flavored coffee, iced of course. I’m winding down from meeting with a client. It’s a beautiful day in Sacramento, 65 degrees and sunny. Now if you have ever lived in Sacramento you know it rains in February, our version of winter is rain, but no rain today.

Ok, back to my original thoughts. I’m not seated that far from the order counter. I’m right near where they make the coffee drinks. You know them well, skinny this, mocha that, no whip etc. Any who I’m drinking my coffee and looking around cause I’m thinking about things. Out of the corner of my eye I spot one of the barrista's with his mouth on a bottle of flavored syrup. From what I can see he’s attempting to break the plastic safety seal around the cap. OMG! That was just nasty! Starbucks has got to have a knife, scissors, paperclip any damn thing to remove that plastic seal. I’m sure his mouth was not what he was trained to use.

My eyes are totally on him now and wide open. He sees me looking at him. Now he has no idea how long I have been watching him. He must have thought I didn’t see him with his mouth wrapped around a bottle of syrup. My first thought after we made eye contact was I just knew he’s going to throw that bottle in the trash. Well surprise surprise he didn’t, he stuck a squirt dispenser in the bottle and put it on the shelf with the rest of the customer use syrup bottles.

Folks I almost knocked my coffee over. That was the nastiest thing I had ever witnessed in a place that serves the public. There was no way I was going to let this one go. After all he’s the one who made my drink. So I get up and I speak directly to him. Explaining to him that what he had just done with that syrup bottle was a health code violation and he needed to remove it from the shelf and throw it in the trash.

I was discreet about it. However he preceded to look at me as if I had five heads and a tail. He gave me that look of your not my boss so sit back down and drink your coffee. I was just about to get loud when a coworker of his had overheard the entire conversation and interrupted us. She told him I was correct, she threw the bottle in the trash. Then she thanked me for pointing it out, she even offered me a free drink. I refused cause I already had a Venti, that was coffee enough for one day. But she insisted that I take a free coffee coupon for my next visit. I took the coupon, said your welcome and returned to my seat. She took him off coffee duty and into the back room for some time, then they both came back out. She put him on the register.

Now I was not trying to get the boy into any trouble. I just wanted to point out cleanliness to him. Contaminating food product that you are going to serve to customers is not good for business. And I’m sure Starbucks does not like that type of madness either.

Folks if you have a restaurant or coffee shop or any other establishment were the public eats, please thoroughly train your employees. Let them know that under no circumstances do you ever put your mouth on a bottle of syrup that you intend to serve to customers. And also let them know it is a serious health code violation that can get your business shut down for a day or more.

Just a thought, I bet that boy doesn’t wash his hands after he goes potty. Happy Marketing Week!

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