Here in Canada we have a few institutions that define us as who and what we are, Hockey Night in Canada, Public Healthcare and the ever present Tim Horton’s Donut shops that seem to be on every street corner in this country. We love our coffee so much, we take it with us when we go to war…and this is all good except for when the “brand” that defines a country starts to lose the very identity that made it a cultural icon.
This week I find myself working outside of the office, doing some training and interacting with one of the Car Dealerships that I support and while there I am required to take a full 1 hour lunch so I figured on my first day I would head out and over to the local Tim Horton’s (which by the way there are 3 within a stones throw of the dealership) and try to enjoy a little down time…but the second that I arrived in the door I was greeted by what can only be described as a hostile work environment.
The manager was running around like an absolute tyrant barking orders at a multicultural staff that ranged in age from 18 – 60…all female (except the manager of course) and a very depleted supply of baked/fried batter that makes a donut a donut.
I waited for an extremely long time in line as one cashier kindly assisted the older couple in line before me figure out the difference between the now overly complex menu that rotates through the field of vision on flat panel displays…the worst of it was…as the couple came close to deciding…the display would rotate to another screen and they would have to wait 30 seconds to restart the process…the other cashier unfortunately had to walk across the store to get another customer’s Ice Cappachino’s because heaven forbid the other 8 staff members could not pick up the slack and fill the order for her.
When I was finally greated, I asked for a Large Double Double (the only place I actually order coffee like this), and two donuts…simple order right…not so much. I get 1 Donut and an Extra Large Coffee and despite being a little miffed…by this point the line up is out the door and around the corner and all the while, the manager is barking orders and telling his staff “I have already shown you how to do that”.
This is not the first time that a mistake has been made at Timmie’s and the last time I stopped drinking their coffee for almost 2 years (despite an employer buying the staff at least one coffee per week)…but this one…I just can not justify the expense and the changes that have occurred at this once beloved meeting place of locals.
When did a Coffee Shop become a Fast Food Restaurant? Why does the menu have to include no less than 100 items, 12+ forms of coffee and a scaled back selection of donuts and muffins. I go to a coffee shop for the coffee and the coffee this day…well there was a distinct taste and flavor of recycled grounds as it was very weak and did not have any flavor and double double…this coffee was neither (about 3 creams and 1 sugar).
I am walking away from Timmie’s for good this time…no more.
If Exeter was not so far away I would go there to achieve my Donut and Coffee fix when I am out because they still have a little local Coffee Shop that makes their donuts the old fashioned way…and sells one type of coffee (+decaf) and takes the minimalist approach with all the guts and gusto that is needed…the regulars in this place well…there is rarely an empty seat so business must be good and keeping the selections simple keeps the turn over of customers just right!
There that is my Rant…I actually feel better now!