I am starting a new series of posts. I am calling them "Make It More Awesome" (MIMA . . . mee-mah) posts. These are things I see everyday, and just think to myself, "Man, this sucks! Someone really needs to innovate this! Make it more awesome please!"
The Coffee Condiment Bar
I am not sure what this is called in the industry. I am referring to that little table where you add cream, and sugar to your coffee. This thing sucks. Someone please make it more awesome!
Why does it suck:
- Filthy - Starbucks is the worst.
- Lack of Space - Taking the cover off a steaming hot cup, adding cream and sugar, and then tasting it to make sure you added enough while carrying a bag is difficult enough. Add a morning crowd. Add a person next to you who has a 4 Venti's and roller laptop bag thing.
- Elbows - This is a recipe for disaster. Elbows are everywhere! Try taking a cover off one of those cups without doing a Dikembe Mutomo.
- Bottleneck - Why don't they have more of these? I don't feel like getting in another line after standing in line to get the coffee.
- Room for cream - I do this. We all do. I want to add cream. There is too much coffee. What do you do? Yeah, that's right. Pour it into the trash. Not sure, but pouring a molten hot liquid into a 4 inch hole while carrying a bag with a shaky non-caffeinated hand seems like a bad idea. Just saying.
- Out of half-and-half - Honestly, at least 50% of the times, the half-and-half is empty. The other 50% of the time, they are out of sugar. So, a 100% of the time, I am pissed.
How to MIMA:
- Just make the area larger. This will solve a lot of problems.
- Make it 360 degress accessible. Don't push it up against a wall. The Borders near my home does this well. The area is accessible from all angles, and it is in the middle of the cafe area.
- Innovate the cream and sugar dispensing devices. A "container of some sort" is so 90's. How about some pump device that dispenses exact amounts. Cream? Pump, pump. That's 2 creams. Sugar. Pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump.
- Copy McDonald's - Ever notice how McDonald's does this? They have this device that pumps out the cream and sugar. Quick and precise. Adapt that to the condiment bar area. I should just walk up, cover off, pump, pump, pump pump, and done!
- Add a drain of some sort. I could dispense water, and accept molten hot liquid for making room for cream.
- Clean it! Often!
- Keep it stocked.