Amy Eddings' Food for Thought: Cooling My Heels for a Hot Beverage

A Starbucks renovation on Spring and Varick is causing long lines at the Hudson St. store.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The line at Starbucks on Hudson Street in SoHo at 3:15 PM. The line at Starbucks on Hudson Street in SoHo at 3:15 PM. (Amy Eddings/WNYC)

When it comes to my afternoon decaf soy cappuccino habit, I'm a creature of habit. I go to the Starbucks on Spring Street that is one block down the street from WNYC's studios on Varick St.

But it closed several days ago for renovations, and now I'm forced to go to the one that is on Hudson St. It, too, is one block away, but it feels farther, because I have to cross TWO streets instead of one. And the line is long, probably because a lot of Varick St. Starbucks customers are making a similar trek. Yesterday, my visit lasted 15 minutes. Today, it was more like 10, because Starbucks placed a woman with a headset at the head of the line to announce the incoming orders to the barista. 

All this makes me think of a recent Consumer Reports survey that found two in three shoppers have walked out of a store because of poor customer service. Long lines weren't the biggest gripe, though -- rude salespeople were. 

What lengths do YOU go for your afternoon snack? 


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