Consistency and the Customer Experience II

Cosi brushed you off? I guess I shouldn't be surprised... While the food has always impressed me, I can't remember one customer experience better than average. At their worst (during the lunch rush, of course) they can be abrasive - yelling "Next customer!" in a way that makes you realize just how little they want to be there.

As the man behind the recommendation, my apology.

To Cosi's credit, I can relate one positive impression. This past summer, when the East Coast found itself without power, I was walking on 42nd St. in Manhattan around 10:00 in the evening. The streets were dark, but the air was full of voices rising from Bryant Park, the library steps, even folks sitting on cars. Almost everything was closed, especially the restaurants. Nevertheless, I passed a Cosi with a line out the door; probably 50-60 people were stacked up on the sidewalk, waiting to file into the darkened shop. Weren't they supposed to close earlier... and better yet, how were they operating right now? Then I remembered. Brick oven. No need for electricity. Cosi made a killing that night.

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2 Comments

  • Donald E. L. Johnson

    Funny, I always have a good experience at restaurants in Denver, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek. Must be the altitude, not the attitude. The skiing's great, by the way.

  • Peter Davidson

    It's to the point where no one should be surprised by bad customer experience at restaurants. Even marginal experiences are help up as refreshing and good. Most restaurants are racing to the bottom to control their costs to provide food that people will pay for. This means cheaper labor through not only minimum wage but schedule "management" to maximize hours while controlling overtime. A natural result is employees that don't want to be there let alone provide "good" customer service.

    Also, I am not surprised by the discovery of prefabricated sandwich contents. Restaurants are looking for ways to reduce "made to order" time and skill required of their employees. Therefore the more standardization they can build in the easier, cheaper, faster they will go. Only a matter of time until the customer can taste it.