6

A lot can happen over coffee....only if you are allowed to sit at a CCD outlet!

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 1:55 AM in , ,
Cafe Coffee Day is no more a new name for the youngsters in India. For a warm cup of coffee at an affordable price, thats where we generally go to! But more than the cup of coffee, its the atmosphere of Café Coffee Days which attracts all of us. An informal setup...good beverage and snacks...soothing music (most of the time)...complimentary wi-fi (at many outlets)...well, CCD always had a lot to offer its customers.

Photo source - https://www.zomato.com/pune/cafe-coffee-day-2-koregaon-park

For Siddhartha, coffee always used to be an experience to be offered...not just beans to be grown. I have had my job interview conducted at a CCD outlet. I have hosted and attended several community meetups at different CCD outlets across the country. I have even had my coffee dates at CCDs. Well, truely, a lot has happened in my life over coffee...at different CCD outlets.

Once, Siddhartha himself had spent his new year's eve, serving customers at a Café Coffee Day (CCD) outlet near Calcutta’s Woodburn Street and was surprised by the way a few customers never returned a smile or thanked him for the service! I had totally admired Siddhartha while reading his journey of building CCD.

Then what has suddenly changed so much for CCDs? Is it the pressure of competition from other growing coffee outlets or is it the pride of success? Why has CCD's service suddenly declined so much?

A few of us were sitting at Koregaon Park CCD this weekend. We have been hosting our community meetups at this outlet since 2011. We met at 10am, for our monthly meeting. The place was completely empty. Well, Saturday morning, 10am...we didn't expect much crowd at the CCD outlet anyway. It all began when one of us went up to the counter, to ask for the direction to the washroom. As already stated, we have been hosting our meetings at this venue for the last four years, so we knew for sure that there was a washroom, behind the building. But, to our surprise, the lady at the counter (her name was Laxmi Yalla), just rudely denied the existence of any washroom at that outlet. Surprised, my friend asked her specifically about the one behind the outlet. She replied that it was leaking and thus was closed. There is no issue about a washroom not being available or being closed. The issue was with the way she was talking to us. Using a washroom at a CCD outlet is not a crime, as far as my legal knowledge goes! So, I don't see much reason for someone needing to be rude about being asked the direction to a washroom.

We had not even spent our initial 10 minutes at the outlet when the same lady walked up to our table and in a very rude voice asked us to place the order or leave the place. I was shocked! Never have we been treated this way at any coffee outlets before. Well, we were anyway planning to get a few cups of coffee so we went ahead and placed our orders.

In the middle of our discussion, one of our team members decided to take some notes of the ongoing discussion. He went up to the counter to ask for a tissue paper. Laxmi, drove him away, saying she didn't have tissue papers! Wait, this was now getting a little uncomfortable. The way she was behaving with us, we were starting to get frustrated. No tissue paper at a CCD outlet, you want us to believe that? Well, we still didn't react and went on with our meeting.

It was not even 20 minutes since we had completed out coffees, when the lady came back and this time she screamed at us to leave the place. She said it was a rule that we cannot sit for more than an hour at a CCD outlet and cannot use this place for our meetings. This time it was too much! We all decided to leave the place immediately and never use another CCD outlet for our meetings.

This incident made me wonder, if it was just this one person or if CCD was coming up with these new rules? Was customer service taking a back seat over business? What could be a valid reason for chasing customers away from an empty outlet?

Well, not sure if all of my questions can be answered. But for sure, for a while now, I will not be visiting another CCD outlet and nor will I be able to convince the rest of my community members to visit one! Good experiences are easily forgotten...but a bad experience is tough to wipe out of memory!

6 Comments

Post a Comment

If you like the blog, you may also want to checkout Priyanka's website