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Coffee shops

(179 Posts)
Kingoftheroad Tue 21-May-19 06:47:14

What do you expect from a good quality coffee shop?

I was having a discussion with a friend who owns a small chain of independent coffee shops. I mentioned that I’m not keen on having people queue up behind me for take away food whilst I’m enjoying either a peaceful few minutes to myself or chatting with a friend etc.

What, in your opinion makes for the ideal coffee shop?

Cariadne Tue 21-May-19 06:50:19

Decent baking, not dry, mass-produced brownies or overly-sweet package chocolate cake.

I hate too many tables all crowded in together so that your conversation is shared with 6 other people.

Most coffee shops, in my experience, make bad, burned coffee. It’s a rare treat when you find one that doesn’t!

Daftness Tue 21-May-19 07:04:09

Cleanliness. It makes such a difference and I'm fed up of having to wipe a table before i can use it. It spoils my cafe experience when I can see crumbs, bits of food and litter on the floor around the tables too. So many places overlook something so basic. A really good cafe would have lots of interesting areas to sit in, in corners or alcoves or by windows etc. Comfy and clean seats too. Of course the food and drinks should be yummy as well.

Vulpine Tue 21-May-19 07:07:29

Great coffee and a nice place to sit and enjoy it

Sparklingbrook Tue 21-May-19 07:09:25

Cheerful, friendly staff.

So many seem to be staffed by people who can't crack a smile.

GinUnicorn Tue 21-May-19 07:15:43

Space and not been packed next to other people.

FizzBuzzBangWoof Tue 21-May-19 07:17:48

As a tea drinker (and coffee hater), I like it if there isn't an overpowering smell of coffee

Yorkshire tea and a range of tempting homemade cakes will help lure me in though

LindsayDenton Tue 21-May-19 07:20:06

Yes, space, I don’t want to be rubbing shoulders with the people at the table next to me! Seems to be a common theme in coffee shops!

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Tue 21-May-19 07:20:07

^^ This. Vigilant staff who collect up cups and wipe down tables, tidy chairs, put away magazines etc.

Recently been to a Starbucks where clearly none of these things had been happening for some time. One of the staff huffed when I brought back the dirty crockery from my table and said 'God, it's amazing how much mess people can make in an hour - I only just sorted this a while ago!'

I was very much hmm

Calic0 Tue 21-May-19 07:21:05

in terms of the space: not too much clutter (looks grubby), cleanliness, decent amount of room between tables, comfy seats and the right level of lighting (not too bright, not too dark). I like a bit of gentle music in the background as well, but that’s not to everyone’s taste.

And in terms of the menu: keeping it simple, but making sure the quality of the coffee is good, there’s a decent range of tea on for a reasonable price and any baked goods are not mass produced.

A coffee shop cat would be the icing on the (cup)cake! smile

Bookworm4 Tue 21-May-19 07:24:09

Independent shops definitely better than the 2 big chains. Can't abide the staff with hair hanging loose and false nails; gives me the heebies 🙄
Clean, clear tables, annoys me having to clean up when staff are faffing.

Lovelylugs Tue 21-May-19 07:24:21

I'm off caffeine and the selection of herbal teas are often camomile and peppermint which I hate. I'd love if it was possible to get a coffee alternative like dandelion or barley cup or even old fashioned cocoa not the over sweet hot chocolate.

NotAnotherJaffaCake Tue 21-May-19 07:25:27

Space - hate having tables crammed in cheek by jowl. Also a nice terrace or outside area.

Dandelion1993 Tue 21-May-19 07:26:46

Decent food
Quality coffee
Steonf WiFi connection
Charging points

BikeRunSki Tue 21-May-19 07:27:15

A choice of teas.

bruffin Tue 21-May-19 07:28:31

There is a independent chain called Coffee Lab in Hertford and Hitchin who have got it just right.

Iwantacampervan Tue 21-May-19 07:28:33

Space, friendliness - if you go regularly they get to know you, taking order at till and then it being brought to you so you're not waiting in the queue for ages, food made to order so you can add or take out items, smaller portions for children or for those who want them, interesting home made cakes, decent mug of tea or tea pot and hot water...
I am describing our local independent cafe which is why we go every week.

Atalune Tue 21-May-19 07:29:46

Clean. Including the loos! Starbucks is ALWAYS grim.

Ragwort Tue 21-May-19 07:30:02

Cleanliness (definitely no cat grin), decent, friendly and professional service. Good coffee obviously. Newspapers to look at. Proper home made cakes, no mass produced stuff.

Very important - when staff pick up a coffee up they should use the handle, not put their fingers inside the cup. I learned this at hospitality college over 40 years ago blush and yet it frequently happens. I wrote to one well known chain about this three times and got the same bland letter ‘we will re-train our staff’ back each time but it still happens, on the rare occasion I still go into that coffee shop.

Tables not crammed together and must be cleared and cleaned frequently, not just sprayed with anti bac and given a cursory wipe.

Ragwort Tue 21-May-19 07:31:38

Yes good point, your order should be bought to you, trying to juggle handbag, money, shopping bag, umbrella, maybe a child (or elderly mother in my case!) and carry your coffee is not easy.

VashtaNerada Tue 21-May-19 07:32:34

I think a clear idea of the ideal customer base is important. I love a child-friendly one with a play area but that’s many people’s idea of hell!

WizzyBee Tue 21-May-19 07:34:55

Enough staff so that orders are taken and delivered quickly when it is busy.
Either one person taking orders and two or three making them up then another person taking payment, or enough staff so that if one person does everything from taking the order to making it up to taking the money, you are not standing waiting for ages in the queue.
Generous mugs of coffee!

DocusDiplo Tue 21-May-19 07:35:28

Friendly staff. It makes a massive difference to me - just genuine and smiley and don't make you wait for ages when they can blatantly see you're standing there waiting.

nordstrom Tue 21-May-19 07:35:42

1) Good coffee 2) Good cake. If these things are right, I will forgive anything else.

peachgreen Tue 21-May-19 07:38:26

Filter coffee, not Americanos. Ideally with a free refill.

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