They did it their way...

...maybe they should consider my way.

A few months ago, we were looking forward to a new smoothie bar opening up in Tring, which it duly did, bringing us fruity delights to boost our bods with all those alledgedly good vitamins and minerals.

The place is called Smooth ... though I'm not sure what it is supposed to relate to as there is nothing smooth about it!

As with all things new, the gloss seems to be wearing off now as the rapid staff turnover pops ever more unexperienced staff up behind the counter. I have sympathy for the girl who runs the place as she is the only one with any experience and ends up doing a dozen-and-one things at a time because her staff just aren't capable of doing the job.

Today is a prime example.

As I'm feeling tired due to the late nights sorting bits out for the weekend, I figured I would go for a cappucino to try and perk me up a bit. I've only had them from Smooth twice and, quite frankly, the froth looked like someone had whisked spit with a little egg white and then sneezed into it.

However, I didn't let that deter me ... but only because it is the only place to get a takeaway cuppa around here, that I know of.

It started with some chunky little strawberry-blonde* thing that sounded like she was auditioning for a part in Eastenders**, who couldn't get the coffee holder out of the machine, forgot to turn off the milk steamer before removing the jug and nearly scalding herself, and then tried to charge me £5.05 to include a choc-chip muffin.

I'm guessing the extra £2.10 was for the entertainment value. Either that or she was trying to raise money to support her hopes of becoming an actress ... some dreams will always remain out of reach.

Anyway, after experienced-girl stepped in to save the day I figured I would come straight back to work and tell you all about the wonderful experience whilst supping the coffee and pretending I was growing a white 'tache***.

Not a chance on the last point...

No spit and egg white froth this time ... just the spit.

The girl who runs the place is obviously in need of some help, so as I am always eager to help people out, I thought I would write a short action plan for training her staff! So here goes...
  1. For each smoothie, write out the ingredients and the quantities required, with any special instructions, in a little folder. Only one smoothie per page, each page laminated for protection and placed in alphabetical order. Give each staff member a plain personal copy in order that they can memorise them in their spare time.

  2. Include as the first page in the folder the necessary health and safety procedures for operating in a food preparation environment.

  3. For one evening, have a hands-on training session where they can familiarise themselves with the equipment (especially including the till), and where they can make sample drinks and taste them so they know what they are producing.

    Include role play in the training so they can be prepared for awkward situations and then end the evening by getting them to clean everything as if it were the close of the day.
All of this should help to provide a basic standard to work from and should help in providing consistent service ... and cappucino froth!

* Okay, yes, ginger, but since I'm slating her I should at least be nice about something
** Actually, she wouldn't have been out of place as one of the obnoxious kids in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
*** Which isn't actually far off anyway as I haven't shaved all week and I'm noticing the white hairs are spreading like rabbits on heat


Anonymous said…
Hi only just read this, really disappointed to hear of your poor experience, please just give us another try. I am confident you will be satisfied, just say Shelley sent you!
OddThomas said…
Ah. That's a comment that makes a blogger realise just how public their postings/ventings are.

I've been scouring the posts to see if I could find any positive ones and it seems I have been remiss in writing up the good points that followed this experience!! :-(

To be totally fair to Smooth - and without sounding like I'm back-tracking - I didn't let the coffee put me off and returned on a regular basis because the smoothies themselves are actually quite lush!

I haven't visited since the refurb a few months ago (blame M&S for this!), so with the new staff and extra goodies on offer, I am overdue a return.

For anyone else reading this post, go visit Smooth and make your own mind up. Seriously. This was one bad experience amongst a hundred plus good ones.

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