Saturday, October 16, 2010

Get the damn milk yourself!

I want service!

I hate the self-service trend that has taken over particularly in Finland. Where else you have for example difficulties to find a cafe that serves in tables, or in office canteen you are expected to fully complete the work needed after the meal;

- separate the litter into recyclable and the rest
- put in the next station the fork, knife and spoon
- place the glasses in the next one
- coffee mugs in the next
- then the plates
- dessert cups and salad plates in the next
- tray in the last one

And at the end comes the service part: you can wipe your hands in the paper available...

Yes I know it is less labor intensive and hence should impact the price of the meal (which it doesn't) but this is a perfect example of where the society is going to.

Here is the inspirator for the title - a strip from the local newspaper;

Wagner: Could I please have some sugar for my coffee?
Waitress: You can get it from the counter.
Wagner: How about milk?
Waitress: That's also at the counter. Feel free to get it yourself!
Wagner: I would like to be served.
Waitress: Buahahahahahahaaa! The pig is talking nonsense...

The few times that I have been in night clubs in the past years, it seems they do not have enough people to serve the drinks. Or why else I would need to stand at the bar and wait for my turn for 15 minutes? 

A bit the same happened today when I went to the City with Mrs and we decided to "go for a cup of coffee". Well, on Saturday afternoon it easily means a place that has got some good snackfood and instead of coffee, it is perfectly fine to take a glass of wine or a beer. We ended up to go to Teerenpeli at Kamppi, Helsinki.

That is more like a pub, actually a brewery pub and a distillery, that has got very good toasts. In Finland it means you need to get whateveryouwishtohave from the counter. No service on the table. This makes me miss the little bar / cafe next to our local grocery store GB in Brussels. On Saturday afternoon last minute shopping trip I go there, take a pit-stop at the loo, sit down and the waiter is waiting to serve me with a smile. I liiiike it!

By the way, could you Finnish cafe /bar / restaurant managers somehow understand that your colleagues in many countries make good profit in drink or food sales by serving some minor salty snack with a drink? Often it is crisps/chips, peanuts or something alike, in some places in e.g. Spain it has been even more as I have said earlier.

Same thing is at the sports events;
There are too few people to serve all before the game or particularly at the half time / breaks. Sad examples have been in an ice hockey game of my home team Blues, where they could have almost doubled the sales during the breaks, but too few sales people behind the counter caused loooong queues and many people not to buy anything.

What about then the gootball game Finland - Hungary last week; I know that labor work is expensive in Finland, but this should be a simple business case calculation;
If I would sell xxx more with a new person that costs yyy, the end result would be xxx-yyy=zzz which means in most cases more cash in the pocket of the manager / owner or whoeverisincharge.

No, the lack of service is not a Finnish trend, it is happening all over. I remember going to Spain for a holiday late 1990's when in our local supermarket (same as I visited this summer too) had a lady almost on stand-by by the scale at the fruit/beggy department. She took the bag I had made, weighted it, put on the price sticker and off I go. Nowadays I need to do it myself - just like I have been teaching the kids as of day one...

Ladies and Gentlemen,
My main message is that we should NOT settle with a bad service, but give feedback also directly - in addition to voting with our money.

Viva la Service!!!

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