Before I dive into this blog entry, I must confess that it is not populated with all of the photos I had originally planned on including with this narrative. Just as I was taking photos, a very large woman with a very large baby carriage parallel parked in front of the beverage station that I am about to talk about and I didn’t have room to wedge my iPhone 5 in for a proper photo. Please bear with me.
Earl and I are at the local Panera for a little wind down soft drink and treat. This location was renovated a few months ago and part of the sprucing up of the place involved relocating the self-serve drink station to the rear of the restaurant.
It wasn’t the most efficient of moves.
To keep matters interesting, the drink dispensers are located to the right of the utensils and condiment station as shown above in the second photo. So, one gets an empty cup at the front register, follows handwritten signs to the back of the store, fills their drink amongst others that are trying to figure out how to fill their drink and then to get a cover for their cup of free water (or purchased pop, iced tea, etc.), they must move to the aforementioned condiment/utensils station to the left of the beverage dispensers.
However! The dispensers and the condiment/utensils station are separated by …
… a hallway! And it’s not just any hallway, but it’s a hallway to the seating that was recently added to the location AND the rest rooms. So people whipping their baby buggy around Panera can slam into the patron who is trying to move from the filling station to the covering station.
As seen in the first photo, there is plenty of room to the right of the beverage station to house the utensils, or at the very least, the covers for the beverage cups.
This is not efficient. This isn’t even smart. The hallway is often slippery due to spilled drinks. I would think that a chain as large as Panera would have already figured this scenario out to peak efficiency.
Apparently I was wrong.