Starbucks Assault

starbucks.bmpFor the past two mornings I have stopped into a local Starbucks on my way to an appointment. A treat for me rather than a daily occurrence, I think of this place as a time out from the daily grind.

But while looking at the display case to decide what type of muffin I was in the mood for I felt pressured to quickly place my order as the man behind the counter kept forcefully saying “ma’am, ma’am, next, next.” Mind you it was 7:15 in the morning (by my clock I shouldn’t even be out of bed yet) and there was barely anyone else in the place. Even after I said “hold on” he continued to pressure me to make a decision. What’s the rush I wondered?

This experience makes me think of other rushed moments I have had in food service lately. Take Chipotle and Rickshaw, two restaurants in our neighborhood. Every time I go in there I can feel my stress level rise. The cashiers’ insistence on taking your order as soon as you walk in the door can take away my appetite.

This rush in customer service got me thinking about the economy. As we pay closer attention to where we are spending our money each day will consumers begin to expect even more? Many of us are already feeling vulnerable and unprotected during this economic climate – companies need to make us feel more at ease rather than assaulted on the check out line.

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