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24 June 2006

Closed for lunch

I visited a popular roadsite halt today, on a busy trunk road and the main roadside eating place for over 30 minutes in any direction.

Yet despite the popularity of this place (the car park was nearly full at 11:30am), they were closed for lunch.

Lunch began at 12 noon. What a pity we had made good progress on our eight hour car journey, we then lost 30 minutes waiting for 12 noon for decent hot food to be served.

The hot options for a family of 5 at 11:30am were either soup or a steak sandwich. The other option of a fried breakfast didn't seem to be available either but neither was really what I had in mind for a 2 year old.

Naturally, come 12:00:00 the queue was about 30 deep and nearly out the door as everyone who had been waiting for the last 30 minutes for a square meal suddenly piles up in starvation.

This irritating habit of determining when customers are allowed to eat appears to be quite widespread and is something that most fast food outlets have long since learned not only irritates customers, but makes queues excessively long and discourages repeat business.

It's too bad there's no decent competition to The Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum, they might start opening for lunch (at 11:30). They are however, not unique. Many pubs are the same, although at least they have some excuse as they have the complication of licensing laws to deal with.

Maybe I'll try selling the idea of closing for lunch to a customer centric organisation and see how many laughs I get.

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