Stacking tables and mopping floors

I saw it again last week. It happens so often that for some cafes it is seen as the norm.

What am I referring to?

Coffee shops that start stacking tables and mopping floors at least 20 minutes before closing time while customers sit close by.

Now remember, these customers haven’t just paid for the coffee and an accompanying treat, they’ve paid for the ambience; they’ve paid for the opportunity to sit with a friend and have a relaxing chat. Very hard to do when someone is stacking chairs and mopping floors round about you – giving the clear message that they’d like to go home on the dot at closing time… so, would you please leave!

These staff aren’t slacking. They are working hard, doing their job or at least doing the part of their job that their boss judges them on.

Which makes situations like this a clear sign of poor management. There should be operational guidelines on issues like stacking tables and mopping floors. Guidelines which clearly state that the customer has the right to enjoy their refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere during the official opening hours – which means that these tasks should be completed outside official opening hours and staff be allocated additional paid time to do this.

Switched on, customer focussed managers like you have regular conversations with their staff about your purpose being to make each customer feel welcome; and your intention being to make customers feel better about themselves for having chosen to do business with you. Keep it up, be a wonderful example to others… including your favourite coffee shop!

You can get more tips like this free at Customer Tips for Coffee Shops.

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email