Tag: queue


The entire buzz in the recent past about Starbucks coming to India reminded me of this question that popped up in my head when I was at a Starbucks at a mall in New Jersey last year.

It was probably a weekend, the mall was crowded. There were a good number of people queuing up to get their caffeine fix or to grab a quick bite before getting back to shopping. It was apparent that the café was short staffed. There was a growing line of people waiting to order, and a fewer, but slowing increasing number waiting to pick up their orders. There was only 4 staff members.

Which brings me to the question.

What would you do in a similar situation, if the total staff strength was 4 (including you), handling a growing queue of coffee lovers. Would you:

  • Divert a larger number of hands to taking orders (so that you could lock in the revenues, so that customers would complain/ grumble at best, without you losing any business (since the queue to order is moving fast, and the money’s coming in), or would you
  • Have an  equal number of staff taking orders and preparing too, or
  • Would you have more staff members preparing customer orders, while letting the line to order grow, so that customers’ who’ve already ordered didn’t have to wait too much, and as the line to order would obvious grow longer, those in a hurry could go about doing their work and perhaps come in later when the lines were shorter, and those who didn’t mind waiting, could.

Let me know what you would do in a similar situation.

Your choice will speak a good deal about how you would run your business, your priorities, the whole jazz.


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