Service at Starbuck’s St. Martin’s Lane branch now goes one step further than scrawling the wrong name on your cup — staff will deliver your chosen beverage to your table.
The new ‘concept store’ is where they are experimenting with a different, more personalised style of service. There’s a wider range of food, coffees and also some alcohol available, but how do they perform when asked for a simple cup of tea?
We visited the branch for a quick brew with 20 minutes to kill, and after 10 minutes waiting for the tea to arrive, we had a second problem — nowhere to ditch the empty teabag. No spoon or saucer arrived, and so we end up walking around the store trying to find somewhere to bin it. Luckily we didn’t want milk (since none was offered) and by the time the tea was cool enough to drink, well, the 20-minute window was up.
It could be that this is a case of over-complicating the system somewhat. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, or at least give the waiters a bit of training to ensure that a cup of tea can get to a table without problems arising. If the staff can’t show enthusiasm for the change, then why should anyone else?
The move comes after Pret a Manger introduced their evening table service, which by all accounts seems to be about as popular as a soggy sandwich. McDonald’s are also rolling out table service across the country and introducing more customisable burgers, in an effort to keep up with competition from higher-end burger chains.