A Run At Syds Bagel Shop

2008 September 23
by Jason

September 11 – 14, 2008. More work, very little to report. Here’s one story, however, that might entertain you.

We’ve been working a lot at Syd’s Bagelry & Espresso, and evidently the secret about Syd’s is out. Saturday morning was IN-SANE. People lined up out the door. A handful of empty tables. People standing everywhere, waiting impatiently for coffee and bagels.

First, I watch as they run out of espresso beans. No more lattes, cappuccinos, etc. When people find out, they usually pause a moment and then say, “OK, I’ll just take a coffee then.” The upset people just sulk away. The nice ones say “Wow, must be busy today?”

The harried clerks and barristas force a smile and keep hustling.

Next, I watch as they start to run out of bagels flavor-by-flavor.

Customer: “Can I get Asiago?”
Clerk: “No, sorry but we ran out of Asiago. How about Onion?”
Customer: “Uh, what about plain?”
Clerk: “We ran out of those too. I’ve got Onion.”
Customer: “You ran out of plain? OK that’s fine I guess.”

Next, they run out of creamer. Then half-and-half. Then the skim milk is gone. When one of the customers (a rude and crude man from New Jersey or New York) finds out that Syd’s is completely out of creamer, half and half, and all sorts of milk (whole, 2%, skim) – each of which he asks for by name, mind you – he exclaims “I can’t drink my coffee without milk – do you want me to go to the store or something?

He then walks around the store talking to anyone who will listen and complaining about “dey don’t know what der doin’ round here – dey don’t even have any milk?![my attempt at writing an NJ/NYC accent]

Finally, Syd’s runs out of coffee. That’s it. They give up. The clerks close and lock the front door. They ask us to leave. As we’re walking out, we see people mulling about out front, wondering what the hell is going on – Why is Syd’s closed at 10:30 in the morning?

What’s going on indeed? How do you underestimate demand so much? How do you sleep knowing you missed out on a ton of business because you didn’t stock enough coffee beans? What about the fact that you irritated a large number of your customers because you closed 8 hours early?

I feel for Syd – or whoever owns the place – because they screwed up royally. Still, it was entertaining to watch.

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