Queues in coffee shops

I'm encouraged by the length of the average queue in Starbucks and Costa - if you've got a steady stream of customers, nudging you towards your maximum coffee-drink-producing-capacity, you must be doing OK on your business plan.

However, this tweet from @GSElevator strikes a chord with me:

YES. They so need to have this. I'd be more willing to queue up at Starbucks if I knew that everyone in the line would turn up at the counter, spec their order in a compact and unambiguous fashion, have appropriate payment ready and waiting, and move swiftly to the collection area as soon as the transaction had concluded.

It's bad enough when the first person in the line orders eight different blended drinks, and you know how long that will occupy the barista making them until she can turn her attention to your americano. It's so, so much worse when the next person just wants a latte but spends several minutes havering about whether they want soy, what size they want, whether it's for here or to go, and then spends a while rummaging around in their purse for the payment. For heavens' sake, you spent nearly ten minutes in the queue waiting for your turn with a huge display of drinks, sizes and prices right in front of you. How in the world can you not be ready to order?

Obviously, anyone in the "shit together" queue who hesitates or havers during their order or payment will be brutally beaten by the people behind them and pushed to the back of the "shit apart" line.

Sorry for the rant; there are few things more irritable than an engineer kept away from their caffeine.

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