Poor Customer Service at Cafe Blue, Sovereign

So I had an hour between assignments in Kingston last week Friday morning and I decided to have coffee at Cafe Blue in Sovereign.  It wasn’t crowded at 8:00am and I placed my order for a large latte and smoked marlin on a wheat bagel.  The cafe is a very comfortable space and it smelled like heaven (we do have the best coffee in the world you know!).  The person who took my order appeared to be the manager/supervisor on duty and she was pleasant and welcoming. So I sat, exhaled and took out the daily newspapers, grateful to start my day in such a relaxing way.  Ten minutes passed…then 15 minutes…then 20 minutes…I started to get edgy and restless now…I noticed the place filling up, and then I noticed a couple who had come in after me being served.  Okay…maybe their order was simpler than mine…no problem.  Then I noticed a man who had come in after me being served….not cool!  And by this time, the woman who was directly ahead of me had finished eating and got up to leave.  All this time, none of the staff noticed that I was simply taking up space with no coffee, no nothing in front of me.  I tried to catch the eye of one of the wait-staff, but that never happened.  By this time I was steaming.  I absolutely hate when my time is wasted or taken for granted.  So I got up after 25 minutes and went to the counter and said: “I’d like to leave now.  May I get a refund?”  The cashier/supervisor looked at my receipt and said: ” Oh no!  Sorry.  Please don’t leave”.  I looked her dead in the eye and gave her the Kelly stare and repeated that I’d really like to leave.  But truth be told, I needed that latte…and I still had time.

Still very put out, I sat back down and in 5 minutes one of the wait-staff bought my latte.  She was pleasant and smiling and faintly apologetic, but had no explanation for what happened. So of course I asked her what went wrong…she shrugged and smiled nicely and said she did not know.  Sigh.  In another 3 minutes, my bagel was brought to me by the Cashier/Supervisor.  She was very apologetic.  But she offered no explanation as to what happened.  You know I asked what went wrong.  She said something about my order being overlooked and again apologized.

Here’s what Cafe Blue did right: They apologized when I brought it  to their attention that I had been overlooked.

Here’s what Cafe Blue did wrong:


The staff including the manager were totally unaware of what was happening in the small space that they managed, and how pleased or not their clients were.  A simple scanning of the room at 3minute intervals to ensure that all was as it should be would have clued them in to the fact that the hottie in the corner (me) had been sitting sans coffee for far too long!

They offered no explanation for what went wrong.  Most people I think are reasonable, and sometimes stuff happens.  Had I been apologized to with an explanation that they misplaced the order or something…anything…I would have been somewhat mollified

They offered zero compensation for my inconvenience.  I was sharing with my Bestie how absolutely put out I was at the treatment that was meted out to me at what he considers to be his favourite coffee spot. I thought that it would have been a great touch for the cashier/Supervisor to offer me a muffin or a small gift voucher to use on my next visit to Cafe Blue as a gesture of goodwill. In fact, the voucher would have been a brilliant peace offering, as it would go a long way in ensuring that a dissatisfied customer would return in the future for another chance to be wowed by great service and food.  He shook his head sadly and said that they staff were probably not empowered to give away a muffin or a JD300.00 gift voucher.  “Only at the Ritz-Carlton can you expect that type of service, Kelly.”  He related a story about his having to wait in line in a certain store in the USA for 30 minutes and how apologetic the sales clerk was when he got to the top of the line.  That sales clerk rang up the phone case that Bestie was buying and gave him for free!

The latte was all that I had anticipated and the bagel and smoked salmon on point. It wasn’t the food that left that bad taste in my mouth.

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