I rarely go way off topic, but due to the horrendous experience that I just encountered, I felt that I had to say something. This afternoon I went to lunch with one of my coworkers. He was going to Cosi so I decided to tag along. I will attempt to describe my experience exactly as it happened. I also would like to take this opportunity to suggest a few improvements that Cosi should rapidly adopt, otherwise they won’t be a thriving business for much longer.
I walked up to the doorway to encounter a young female who decided not to enter Cosi due to the long line and the picture of chaos that existed within the restaurant. Given that my coworker and I were two hungry and determined individuals, we decided to accept the challenge of placing an order thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be that bad. Boy was I wrong.
After entering the doorway we proceeded over to the start of the queue. Finding the start of the queue was a challenge in itself, since there are apparently two, criss-crossing lines: one for salad and one for sandwiches. This is only the beginning of Cosi’s problems. They should wake up and smell the Xandos coffee (wait, Xandos doesn’t exist anymore because it sucked) and go hire a queuing consultant who can advise them on a better way to organize the lines because the current way is abhorrent.
I rapidly filed through the salad line only to see my coworker still standing toward the back of the sandwich line. He continued to wait in the sandwich line for the next 10 to 15 minutes while I proceeded to the next line. “Another line” you ask? Yes! I continued on to the next line only to be informed by the kind lady next to me that I was was in the incorrect line. Yesterday, she had been kicked out of the same line I was now standing in because it was the “barrista line”. Apparently Cosi thought it would be a good idea to put an Italian twist on things and make a Barrista line, only to later inform you that you are in fact not in the line to pay.
During this entire interaction with the kind lady, my coworker was still attempting to place his order (which was by the way misconstrued by the server). I felt bad for the poor sandwich lovers who were trying to simply place their order. After getting into the correct line I waited for what seemed like an eternity to pay for my food. Later I found out that this wait was nowhere near eternity. I successfully paid for my food and then proceeded to join my coworker for some friendly chit chat while he waited to pay. Apparently while the person in front of us was paying, the register decided to break. I didn’t realize that a broken register was so catastrophic. Apparently it was big enough a deal that a simple reboot provided enough time for the register attendant to walk around and get bread and a drink. This was around the time that I walked up to the manager to ask him what type of shop he was running. He said that I should write a letter, so here it is. I will make an attempt at contacting higher level people in the company but hopefully they see this first.
All in all, our experience ended up being close to an hour, 45 minutes of which was spent inside Cosi. This is definitely not the place to go eat if you plan on getting your food to go. Now I am sitting here eating my salad which is only half the size of the container it was placed in. Two simple suggestions Cosi: fix your queuing system and hire competent workers.