I recently had to break up with my favourite café. Here’s why.
Amongst a sea of coffee shops in my local area, one has a unique and unassailable point of difference: it’s the only place with outdoor seating that gets the morning sun. Since my home office is somewhat chilly, it’s a particularly enticing spot to head to when I need a change of scene.
Over the past five years that courtyard has been the venue for: deep introspective strategic thinking, fast and furious attacks on my overflowing inbox, chatty client meetings and inspiring business networking get-togethers. All accompanied by great coffee, tasty morsels and friendly chats with the lovely staff.
So it is with deep sadness that I’ve had to acknowledge that the relationship is over.
Café, it’s been lovely, but um, to put it plainly, you’re dumped.
When you got new owners and started to change a few months ago, I was optimistic. Fresh paint, comfy new seats, even better food… I was impressed.
But you’ve driven me away with your clinginess.
Your new owner hovers by my side every moment, even when I’m on the phone or deep in conversation with a friend. He offers me more coffee even before I’ve swallowed the last mouthful of the previous cup.
It isn’t good customer service. It’s creepy.
It makes me nervous, and it makes your owner look desperate. And frankly, that doesn’t make me want to hang out with you anymore, no matter how pretty your new cushions are.
Here’s the thing. The moment I walk through the door and take my seat, it’s a fairly sure thing that you’re going to make a sale out of me. Sticking to me like glue doesn’t facilitate that process; it makes me want to run away.
Café, there’s a fine line between being attentive and being desperate, and you’ve crossed it! If you were a website, I bet you’d be a forest of pop-up windows, real-time chat boxes and pushy sales tactics like the guys in this video. I’d be out of there quick smart too.
Since we broke up, I’ve been checking out a few new cafés to take your place. My new favourite place might not have your sunny disposition, but it’s chilled and pressure-free, and that’s all I’m looking for right now.
Plus, the guy there is confident enough to know that while I may only order a coffee today, I might order lunch tomorrow with a group of friends. It’s cool and casual for now, but if it works out, I’m looking forward to a long-term relationship.
Can you relate? Have you dumped a business for being overly attentive too? Share your break-up stories in the comments.