Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Tax time headache?
Let us crunch the numbers

The Brunch Run – The Cupping Room (Civic)

By Alexandra Craig 16 April 2016 25

IMG_9038

The Cupping Room in Civic is probably one of Canberra’s most popular cafes. Whenever I drive past, tables are always full and sometimes there’s even a line out the door. I had family in town last weekend and decided to take them here for breakfast.

We arrived quite early, about 7.50am. I thought the cafe had opened at 7.30am and given the doors were wide open we started to approach. We were met by an employee who told us the cafe doesn’t open for another 10 minutes and proceeded to close the double doors in our faces. Unnecessary, I thought. We weren’t going to storm the place, there was no need for protective measures against four breakfast-goers. No dramas though, we decided we’d go for a stroll around the block to pass time. As we looped back around it was about 7.58am (literally two minutes to opening time) when we saw two ladies approach the cafe, open the door and walk in. About 15 seconds later they were escorted out and the doors were LOCKED behind them. Locked! Really?! The cafe opens in 2 minutes. I used to work in retail so I know how annoying it is when people would want to come in early, or come in late, but seriously, two minutes to opening is a ridiculous amount of time to be kicking people out and locking the door to only have to unlock it pretty well straight away.

Anyway, we tried to see the funny side in it and we all had a giggle amongst ourselves. The doors opened again and I was so excited because I know what an awesome breakfast The Cupping Room does. We were first through the door and selected a corner table because it was a chilly morning and this table had amazing sunlight. It was two single tables very close to each other so we pulled them 20cm closer and started pondering the menus. The same employee who had closed the doors in our faces came over and told us we had to move because the tables were for two groups of two and not one group of four. We were extremely puzzled by this request because well, we were there first and the restaurant wasn’t even half full yet. We said we would prefer to stay seated where we were and copped a bit of attitude from the employee. We ended up being able to stay there but it really did make us feel extremely unwelcome and had my guests not had a flight to catch, I would have hauled us out of there and gone to another cafe. I thought maybe we were the ones being unreasonable but we even had two separate groups of diners lean over to us and say they thought his behaviour was completely unacceptable.

Pushing on for breakfast though, my partner and I ordered the smashed avo which came with goats cheese, poached eggs, and pomegranate, one guest ordered the huevos bollo which was kind of like a fancy bacon and egg roll, and my second guest ordered the French toast with citrus textures, chocolate sauce and whipped marscapone. The meals came out quickly and beautifully presented. I was immediately overcome with food envy looking at the french toast – it looked amazing! Such a pretty dish, almost too good to eat.

I wasn’t a fan of the pomegranate on my dish. I think it was just too sweet for me paired with the savoury eggs and salty goats cheese. My partner liked it though – he hoovered down his meal in what seemed like about 30 seconds. There was a really generous serving of avo which is always nice, some cafes are a bit stingy given how expensive avocados are but my serving was so big I thought they must have an avocado tree out the back! My first guest really enjoyed the huevos bollo – it was packed with ingredients and the eggs had the perfect runniness. The French toast was a dream too. I was lucky enough to sample a tiny bit of it and it tasted like cinnamon donuts which might seem like an unusual choice for breakfast but hey, a treat is good every now and again right?

As we left, two of the people in my group said to the employee that we honestly weren’t happy with the entire experience. He apologised but it was more of a ‘sorry you got upset’ rather than ‘sorry I acted inappropriately’. Kind of a ‘sorry not sorry’ moment I suppose.

Our meals were great, they really were. Service was prompt and the food was fantastic. However, the customer service and the way we and the other set of diners were treated was atrocious. I understand that working in the hospitality and service industries can be stressful, however it’s unnecessary to behave the way that employee behaved. As amazing as the food is, I’m not going back. I don’t want to be treated like that again.


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
25 Responses to
The Brunch Run – The Cupping Room (Civic)
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Holden Caulfield 4:49 pm 22 Apr 16

Nice to see a couple of Cupping Room staff pop in to RA for what will no doubt be a fleeting visit, haha!

Seriously, some people need to lighten up, moving two adjacent tables together is not going to stuff up an electronic ordering/payment system. If the system really is that inflexible (computer says, no!) then any staff member with a modicum of intelligence should be able to work out that the two tables who must never be moved were paying together. And it would take all of 10 seconds to rearrange the tables after the paying guests have left.

Of course, there are some members of the public who treat hospitality staff like crap and asking someone to think about the staff may be pertinent at times, but I’m not sure that was necessary in this case.

Moreover, if you’re in hospitality and can’t recognise that you’re in a service industry and that your job is to actually serve the customer, then, really, find work in another industry.

Nobody likes getting bad service or being treated like a child, so taking the OP’s review at face value I think those defending the Cupping Room need to at least consider that the behaviour displayed was unacceptable instead of coming back with feeble explanations.

madelini 2:04 pm 22 Apr 16

Mordd said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Mordd said :

MonarchRepublic said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

I don’t think throwing $20 on a meal entitles you to shuffle furniture around to suit your needs without asking. It’s still not your space – there’s no need to be rude because you have paid for your breakfast.

If you took a dish to a pot luck dinner, would you rearrange their lounge room as well? After all, you paid for what you contributed!

Hang on, going to a cafe is a commercial transaction. I expect professionalism. It is different to going to a friend’s house.

Professionalism in terms of service and quality of product. It doesn’t mean that you are entitled to rearrange the furniture – that’s straight up poor manners.

Do you rearrange the chairs in the waiting room at the dentist? That’s a commercial transaction. Do you rearrange the display furniture in IKEA or Domayne? That’s also a commercial transaction. And if you don’t, why not? They’re laid out specifically in those stores or service providers for a reason, same as cafes. If there is a table of four and two tables of two, it is better manners to sit at the table prepared for your number, instead of taking it upon yourself – without asking – to shuffle stuff around because you paid for a $15 huevos bollos and a coffee.

Not a right to shift the furniture yourself, but as a paying customer, you have the right to make a reasonable request with regard to seating, and where practicable, a reasonable expectation to have that request accommodated.

Absolutely – if you make a polite request to the staff, you would hope for an accommodating and reasonable response. However, in the article above, no request was made, and the customer took it upon themselves to rearrange the furniture because they felt like it. I’m not surprised that the staff were less than ecstatic to have to deal with that. Again, purchasing a meal does not mean that you are entitled to move things around because you feel like it – at best, that’s downright rude, at worst, selfish and disrespectful. Manners don’t cost a thing.

mmmich 7:44 am 22 Apr 16

Agreed that they went about it the wrong way, but I think it’s understandable that a cafe doesn’t want their tables rearranged right at opening time. If the two person tables are removed and the rest fill up then they might have to seat a couple at a 4 person table and then lose out on a larger group. It’s certainly fine to ask but I think it’s reasonable that it’s refused, particularly when there are free tables of the correct size.

Nilrem 5:14 pm 21 Apr 16

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Mordd said :

MonarchRepublic said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

I don’t think throwing $20 on a meal entitles you to shuffle furniture around to suit your needs without asking. It’s still not your space – there’s no need to be rude because you have paid for your breakfast.

If you took a dish to a pot luck dinner, would you rearrange their lounge room as well? After all, you paid for what you contributed!

Hang on, going to a cafe is a commercial transaction. I expect professionalism. It is different to going to a friend’s house.

Professionalism in terms of service and quality of product. It doesn’t mean that you are entitled to rearrange the furniture – that’s straight up poor manners.

Do you rearrange the chairs in the waiting room at the dentist? That’s a commercial transaction. Do you rearrange the display furniture in IKEA or Domayne? That’s also a commercial transaction. And if you don’t, why not? They’re laid out specifically in those stores or service providers for a reason, same as cafes. If there is a table of four and two tables of two, it is better manners to sit at the table prepared for your number, instead of taking it upon yourself – without asking – to shuffle stuff around because you paid for a $15 huevos bollos and a coffee.

Not a right to shift the furniture yourself, but as a paying cuistomer, you have the right to make a reasonable request with regard to seating, and where practicable, a reasonable expectation to have that request accommodated.

Mysteryman 12:08 pm 21 Apr 16

gooterz said :

I’ve re-arranged many a table layout at cafes and pubs and nightclubs over the years, to make room for a larger group around smaller tables – never once have I been told off for this and if I had I would not go back to the venue. This is perfectly normal behaviour and for the cafe staff to get all uppity about it is ridiculous. I worked in hospitality for many years and never had an issue with this being done where I was working. All those complaining about moving the furniture need to realise this really isn’t that big an issue.

Likewise, those complaining about being asked *not* to move the furniture should also realise it really isn’t that big an issue.

madelini 11:50 am 21 Apr 16

dungfungus said :

Mordd said :

MonarchRepublic said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

I don’t think throwing $20 on a meal entitles you to shuffle furniture around to suit your needs without asking. It’s still not your space – there’s no need to be rude because you have paid for your breakfast.

If you took a dish to a pot luck dinner, would you rearrange their lounge room as well? After all, you paid for what you contributed!

Hang on, going to a cafe is a commercial transaction. I expect professionalism. It is different to going to a friend’s house.

Professionalism in terms of service and quality of product. It doesn’t mean that you are entitled to rearrange the furniture – that’s straight up poor manners.

Do you rearrange the chairs in the waiting room at the dentist? That’s a commercial transaction. Do you rearrange the display furniture in IKEA or Domayne? That’s also a commercial transaction. And if you don’t, why not? They’re laid out specifically in those stores or service providers for a reason, same as cafes. If there is a table of four and two tables of two, it is better manners to sit at the table prepared for your number, instead of taking it upon yourself – without asking – to shuffle stuff around because you paid for a $15 huevos bollos and a coffee.

Evilomlap 11:36 am 21 Apr 16

gooterz said :

I’ve re-arranged many a table layout at cafes and pubs and nightclubs over the years, to make room for a larger group around smaller tables – never once have I been told off for this and if I had I would not go back to the venue. This is perfectly normal behaviour and for the cafe staff to get all uppity about it is ridiculous. I worked in hospitality for many years and never had an issue with this being done where I was working. All those complaining about moving the furniture need to realise this really isn’t that big an issue.

Shhhh mate. Seeing what does or does not become a big issue is part of the reason I find this site so entertaining.

Nilrem 11:29 am 21 Apr 16

Mordd said :

MonarchRepublic said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

I don’t think throwing $20 on a meal entitles you to shuffle furniture around to suit your needs without asking. It’s still not your space – there’s no need to be rude because you have paid for your breakfast.

If you took a dish to a pot luck dinner, would you rearrange their lounge room as well? After all, you paid for what you contributed!

Hang on, going to a cafe is a commercial transaction. I expect professionalism. It is different to going to a friend’s house.

Mordd 7:41 pm 20 Apr 16

I’ve re-arranged many a table layout at cafes and pubs and nightclubs over the years, to make room for a larger group around smaller tables – never once have I been told off for this and if I had I would not go back to the venue. This is perfectly normal behaviour and for the cafe staff to get all uppity about it is ridiculous. I worked in hospitality for many years and never had an issue with this being done where I was working. All those complaining about moving the furniture need to realise this really isn’t that big an issue.

Evilomlap 3:49 pm 20 Apr 16

Mordd said :

MonarchRepublic said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

I don’t think throwing $20 on a meal entitles you to shuffle furniture around to suit your needs without asking. It’s still not your space – there’s no need to be rude because you have paid for your breakfast.

If you took a dish to a pot luck dinner, would you rearrange their lounge room as well? After all, you paid for what you contributed!

Well I think it does, so there!

Sorry, kidding. I didn’t mean to suggest that paying for a meal entitles one to behave like a jack*ss. I was just pointing out that I found the original comparison an odd one to make. I’d only rearrange the furniture if the occupants of the house were blind…

Again…kidding 🙂

madelini 12:38 pm 20 Apr 16

MonarchRepublic said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

I don’t think throwing $20 on a meal entitles you to shuffle furniture around to suit your needs without asking. It’s still not your space – there’s no need to be rude because you have paid for your breakfast.

If you took a dish to a pot luck dinner, would you rearrange their lounge room as well? After all, you paid for what you contributed!

Evilomlap 2:52 pm 19 Apr 16

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

Actually, no it doesn’t. People don’t generally pay to spend time in each other’s houses. If I was forking over money to spend time in someone’s house I’d expect to have a bit of leeway in y’know, choosing where to sit.

Evilomlap 1:50 pm 19 Apr 16

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

The Cupping Room runs a booking & waiting list sheet at the front door, against what tables they have and how many they seat. Stuffing their system at the start of service puts them in a bad place as soon as they fill. Try and see it from their perspective. It’s a good place, but has to run a bit rigid because of the sheer demand.

I think your first statement is a very good way of looking at it. As a customer, I wouldn’t help myself to rearrange the furniture in a cafe or restaurant without asking the wait staff first. Especially if there are other tables of 4 available.

We didn’t realise it was two two-seater tables. When we sat down, there was a 20cm gap (if that) between the two tables – this is fairly close and we didn’t assume two separate groups would sit this closely together.

The tables so close together is one of the many reasons I don’t go to the Cupping Room. Elk and Pea do it as well – you’re seated so close to others you might as well just join in the conversation. As a person who values personal space I won’t go to places that do this – it’s about cramming as many people as possible into the available square footage. Businesses need to make a profit but basically sitting on the next tables’ laps ain’t for me.

I’m totally with you on the politeness thing, though. There is no excuse for being rude to customers. I managed to leave my personal stuff at the door and put a smile on my face when I worked in retail and hospitality. If I can do it, anyone can, believe me!

nsee 12:39 pm 19 Apr 16

The doors would have been wide open because they need to put their big tables out before they open.

Customers at places like the Cupping Room need to put themselves in the staff’s shoes once in a while. They get hammered all day, your $20 breakfast or $4 coffee does not entitle you to having them bend to your every whim. Sometimes places have to focus on efficiency rather than spending their day trying not to offend customers that go out of their way to find things to be offended about.

Nilrem 9:09 am 19 Apr 16

They do have excellent coffee there. I’m not a coffee tosser, so often I can’t distinguish between coffees, but the one I had there was really nice. It’s a shame that attitude seems to follow hard on the heels of reputation. Oh well, I guess this stuff is self correcting, as bad attitude will repel people, no matter how good the coffee is.

Alexandra Craig 8:11 am 19 Apr 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

The Cupping Room runs a booking & waiting list sheet at the front door, against what tables they have and how many they seat. Stuffing their system at the start of service puts them in a bad place as soon as they fill. Try and see it from their perspective. It’s a good place, but has to run a bit rigid because of the sheer demand.

I think your first statement is a very good way of looking at it. As a customer, I wouldn’t help myself to rearrange the furniture in a cafe or restaurant without asking the wait staff first. Especially if there are other tables of 4 available.

We didn’t realise it was two two-seater tables. When we sat down, there was a 20cm gap (if that) between the two tables – this is fairly close and we didn’t assume two separate groups would sit this closely together.

madelini 4:00 pm 18 Apr 16

Mordd said :

Mordd said :

That said, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that the staff were miffed that you moved the tables – given that they use an electronic ordering system (and often have a line out the door), having people come in and rearrange without asking could prove to be a problem later in the day. As far as The Cupping Room goes, they work as a well-oiled machine, so while it’s annoying for you as the customer, it’s risk management for the staff who have to be there all day.

I wasn’t aware of the electronic ordering/table system, and honestly, if we had been asked nicely and had the reasons properly explained to us, it would have been a whole different story. But the guy was super rude to us from the moment we arrived and offered no proper explanation as to why we couldn’t sit there. At the end of the day, it’s about the way people say things that makes the difference.

They don’t need to tell you – when you go to pay, they find your table on the electronic screen that is designed according to the layout. It’s how they manage the wait list as well, and really, you’re not entitled to that explanation as the staff would reasonably assume that if there are tables of four, a group of four adults would choose them over two two-seater tables. So, while they could have asked you nicely, could you not have also asked them nicely to rearrange their furniture?

Mysteryman 3:33 pm 18 Apr 16

rommeldog56 said :

You wouldn’t rearrange the tables at someone else’s house without asking them. Same applies in a cafe or restaurant.

The Cupping Room runs a booking & waiting list sheet at the front door, against what tables they have and how many they seat. Stuffing their system at the start of service puts them in a bad place as soon as they fill. Try and see it from their perspective. It’s a good place, but has to run a bit rigid because of the sheer demand.

I think your first statement is a very good way of looking at it. As a customer, I wouldn’t help myself to rearrange the furniture in a cafe or restaurant without asking the wait staff first. Especially if there are other tables of 4 available.

I’ve been eating at the Cupping Room since it opened. I’ve never had a problem with the staff. They have always been polite, courteous, and helpful, even when running at maximum capacity (which is basically every time I go there!).

FrankReynolds 1:37 pm 18 Apr 16

Shame to hear about this poor experience.
I’ve been there frequently and only had positive experiences. The friendly staff are one of the big draws for me.
Not an excuse, but I might chalk that up to that person having a bad day (I know working retail/hospo I’ve been guilty of the same).
Also, I’ll put in an upvote for the pomegranate on the smashed avo. Not for everyone, but I really enjoy it.

Alexandra Craig 1:31 pm 18 Apr 16

rosscoact said :

You sound upset that you couldn’t get what you wanted and things weren’t done exactly you wanted them.

I’ve been there at 7:45 before and people were just streaming in and picking their own tables and it was bedlam. As soon at 8 hit they all expected to have their orders taken at the same time and I could see people getting upset because they thought they’d come in before someone else and should get their order taken first.
What’s wrong with the staff wanting to be properly organised before opening at the (advertised) time of 8? Closing the doors prevents them from constantly telling keen beans that they’re not open yet.

I think it’s fair that you were told that you can’t just drag tables together just because you feel like it, or you thought it was fine because you were the first person there. There’s plenty of tables in that place for groups of 4. Maybe respect the staff who – again – were trying to get ready and be organised for what would surely be a busy day. Sometimes that place is full by 8:05, with a line and waiting list by 8:15. If you spent say 30 minutes there, that’s a whole table of trade wasted. I know for a fact that there are two tables of four that get great sunlight in that area. You just wanted to sit in the booths.

I have no problem with the doors being closed before opening. However, when we arrived, 10 minutes before opening, the doors were wide open. I mistakenly thought they had opened earlier than our arrival time, and I had no problem waiting a little longer – but it is rude to close the doors in people’s faces when they were previously wide open. Had they been shut when I arrived, I would have seen the opening time printed on the door and I wouldn’t have walked in.

As for the tables – I know the tables you’re talking about because when we were asked to move, I looked over to see what other options were available. They didn’t have any sunlight on them whatsoever. Maybe a little later in the day but on our particular morning they didn’t have sunlight. I would have moved otherwise. Not fussy about booths. Any indoor seat in the sun would have been fine but there was only the spot we were in, or the other booth spot.

Mordd said :

That said, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that the staff were miffed that you moved the tables – given that they use an electronic ordering system (and often have a line out the door), having people come in and rearrange without asking could prove to be a problem later in the day. As far as The Cupping Room goes, they work as a well-oiled machine, so while it’s annoying for you as the customer, it’s risk management for the staff who have to be there all day.

I wasn’t aware of the electronic ordering/table system, and honestly, if we had been asked nicely and had the reasons properly explained to us, it would have been a whole different story. But the guy was super rude to us from the moment we arrived and offered no proper explanation as to why we couldn’t sit there. At the end of the day, it’s about the way people say things that makes the difference.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site