Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

“This Is How We Do It Here”

Black Canyon

So much for the Go-the-Extra-Mile-for Service (GEMS) movement – this has not been a good week for customer service at all. I went to the only Singapore branch of popular Thai coffee chain Black Canyon Coffee for dinner today, and encountered yet another example of “how not to treat your customer”.  This so soon after my experience at a convenience store earlier this week.

I went for dinner with my brother and sister-in-law at Black Canyon tonight, and I guess it was a mistake to order a Western steak instead of its usual excellent Thai fare.  I had ordered the steak medium, but it came rare and bloody.  When I brought the matter up to a middle-aged lady (quite a hip auntie in jeans and dyed hair, not the dowdy kind), she gave me an answer that left me somewhat speechless.


“Hi, my steak is rare, but I ordered it medium.”

“This is medium, what,” came the nonchalant reply. Attitude – Fail.

She’s unlucky she tried to run this past a seasoned cook who can tell the difference between medium and medium rare.  “I’m pretty sure this is not medium,” I recovered and answered testily.

“It’s supposed to be bloody.” “This is how we do it here.”

Beep, wrong answer.  Product knowledge – Fail.

Maybe I’m demanding, but I reckon any wait staff with good customer service sense would have just apologized and a reply like “we’ll get that cooked for a little longer, sir” would have closed the case.

When I insisted she bring it back to the kitchen, she gave me a long face worthy of a recently-castrated black stallion.  And no, I don’t believe that the customer is always right.  But I do believe that good customer service is a basic fundamental aspect of any business, and that exceptional service – going the extra mile – makes customers go back for more.

And as I expected, my steak came back well-done.  Thankfully for Black Canyon I’d still go back, if only because they do serve fantastic coffee.

I try to remind myself that this blog is not meant for customer service complaints, but what do I do when I see a perfectly good F&B operation marred by a simple “bo-chap” act of a clueless wait staff?

Edit: It’s closed down the last time I chanced across the place.

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