I drink coffee.  This is not news.  I buy it from a very nice if slightly corporate Italian Restaurant in Canary Wharf (which is a ghastly place).  It is called Obica.

Their coffee is very good, as you’d expect of Italian coffee, even from a chain.

Today I half jokingly offered to key in the price myself and swipe my card to help in the busy morning rush.  The man on the counter lamented the rise of self service, telling me how he enjoyed serving customers.  It was a friendly exchange.  I saw his point.

This afternoon I decided to have another one.  This too is not news.

He remembered me and offered me a loyalty card.  One of those based on a bit of card that gets stamped.  Being an honest soul I politely declined, I never remember to keep let alone use them.  They find their way with change and receipts into a pot on the mantle piece that every so often then gets cleared out when the floatsom of London gets binned.

He said this was ok but that next time I came I was going to get a free coffee anyway and would from time to time, “For people I know” and I suspect make the effort to establish eye contact and do just a little more than conduct a transaction.

It is fair to say I will be a loyal customer.

If you do find yourself in Canary Wharf, I would recommend the coffee (and lunch) here:


2 thoughts on “Coffee

  1. “… eye contact…” That’s the key to authentic customer service: seeing your customer for the individual they truly are and acknowledging their value to you in how you serve them. Successful business transactions depend on so much more than the process of transferring cash from the buyer to the seller. Insightful observation, Anthony.

    • Hi

      I wrote this while the coffe was being made and posted it in the lift on the way back to my desk.

      It was a tiny but quite memorable moment.

      This morning I deleted it as I thought it a bit trivial. Someone actually complained 🙂

      Later, I got my free coffee (I bought a sandwich too).

      I republished it and added the prosaic photo of the coffee.

      It is a tiny thing, a cup of coffee, actual cost, I’d guess no more than 50p. That little experience, quite brilliant.

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