Handling a tricky situation with grace @ Market Kitchen in Berrima

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Berrima and sharing lunch with some of the amazing people I have met on Twitter at the Zen Oasis.  After a delicious lunch at the vegetarian restaurant with gorgeous Zen garden, a few of us went into Berrima proper to visit the shops.

If like me, you love antique stores, you will LOVE Peppergreen – just like stepping back to the store as it would have been then, fixtures and all. More on that another day!!

This is the story about Market Kitchen and the owner who KNOWS WHAT CUSTOMER SERVICE MEANS!

I needed a coffee but it was a stinking hot day so I asked for an ice coffee without cream or ice-cream (not because I am on a diet but because I am lactose intolerant).  It has been my experience cafes either get this request or don’t.  The waitress did take the order down in detail and clarified no cream or icecream, “yes i just want cold coffee”.

The Barrista (owner), a grey haired gent with a lovely smiley face, clarified saying it might be strong.  I said yes that’s right, I just wanted cold coffee.

To his credit he bought a cup to the table and said he thought I should try it as he thinks I might not like it – and he was right!! It was a syrup not cold coffee!!! yyyuuuuuukkk!!  Obviously not a true coffee experience like in other cafes!!!

Smiling, he said he thought it was not the right thing and asked what could get me, long black would be great.

He then appeared with another glass, saying he would not be beaten by this challenge and gave me another concoction.  But it was still horrible!! I contemplated just drinking it but it was AWFUL!!  But how divine is he?  Not taking it personally, he took it as a challenge! As a customer I only had a positive experience and was treated respectfully. 

What more could I ask for?? Ok, maybe a good cup of coffee! 

Still smiling he bought me my coffee and although it was not great, it was good and all the nicer for his manner, attitude and pride.

Will I be back? SURE!! I like to support professional retailers who take pride in their business and treat me well!!  Really, the actual product has become irrelevant in this whole story, interesting isn’t it??

This is a great lesson in how to handle customer comments, complaints and lack of satisfaction; sometimes customers don’t speak the same language and there may be misunderstandings but handled in a respectful manner, any situation can end pleasantly!


  1. sandy Hammersley
    January 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I went into a cafe across the street and asked for a cup of bushells tea...sorry we only sell twinings ok I said that's fine I'll have English breakfast...some time later I was given my tea, a took a sip..hang on a minute! That's Bushell's..Oh she said you're one of those! I laughed with my friend, I was so happy to be one of those...A new experince

  2. January 29, 2010 at 10:49 am

    It is amazing isn't it that so many people in the service industry are so contemptuous of customers?!! You ARE the customer - if you would like something specific they can either give it to you or kindly inform you they don't have it. You can then CHOOSE to take it or not. You are the one paying after all! What do they NOT understand?? I am also "one of those" too, nice to meet you! :-) I emplore everyone - do not reward bad customer service with your money! We need to raise our expectations to raise the action!

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