Service standards

Market competition drives improvements and with service, there’s always room for some kind of improvement. And the ability to charge people for such improvements is perhaps the main challenge for these firms. Personally, I think the ability to serve well in F&B to generate loyal, recurrent customers who are always in the area is quite valuable. Nevermind whether you’re operating a chain store or not.

The other day, I was at 79 Robinson Road’s Fun Toast outlet. I ordered a set with a drink and a sandwich to go. The coffee was ready in about 2-3 minutes upon ordering and I was holding on to it while waiting for my sandwich which took another 7 minutes. By the time I arrived in my office to drink my coffee with my sandwich, the coffee was pretty lukewarm.

If they had been thoughtful – and such takeaway orders should be extremely common – they’d wait for the sandwich to be ready before preparing the drink. Especially since they’d know better than anyone else how long it takes to make the sandwich. But they don’t want to take ownership of this problem of coffee turning cool, nor the risk of forgetting your drink order when the food is ready. The result is poor service. Or at least unthoughtful service.

You can be sure I won’t be going back there anytime soon though my office is nearby. Would I pay just a little more for the thoughtfulness? Probably for the drink, yes.