I walk by La Renaissance every day to get to work, so it's pretty hard to control myself... I often wind up getting in, attracted by their gorgeous pastries (both to the eye AND to the palate) and their yummy coffees. As a matter of fact... there is a really nice French barista guy, always with a smile, who makes the most yummies cappuccinos ever. He uses exactly the same ingredients as everyone else, and yet, his coffees taste heavenly. Personal touch, somehow.
So I love the coffee, the pastries, and the cute French guy. What I don't love (not by far) is the way I am treated very often by everyone else that works there.
Take the short, older lady in the front. Once she shrieked, ranted, angrily talked to be as if I were a misbehaved child, all because I had bought a croissant to take away, but decided to eat it on the back patio instead. "You're not supposed to eat these here!" she shrieked. "It's not on a plate! It's more expensive on a plate! My boss will be angry! Never do this again!" I just stared at her, not believing it.
After that day, I continued going there (not as often as before, of course... just on weak days), but never when she was working. And still, I felt very uncomfortable, unwelcome, half-expecting someone to yell and me and kick me out. High price to pay for a nice cappuccino.
Today I peeked from the door, older lady wasn't there, clear! There was a girl I hadn't seen before. I asked for a baguette. When it was time to pay, she didn't have change for my $50 bill. (Or just didn't feel like it.) I didn't have smaller change, but I had a savings card and a credit card. Nope, she wouldn't take it - mine didn't meet the minimum purchase requirements. She simply said goodbye and put my baguette back in the basket. My jaw dropped - it was too unbelievable for comments, so I just stared at her and left. Thinking, why of why do I keep coming to this place and allowing myself to be treated this way.
Now, maybe I'm being totally unreasonable here, but if I have cash and plastic, if I am willing to pay, it's their problem to find which of the options they prefer and just take it - and if they dislike them all, then damn it, just give me the stupid bread. But don't send me on my merry way with service denied.
Management, please do pay attention, and do care, about how your employees treat your customers. Train them to be courteous, or hire better ones. Maybe lack of courtesy is acceptable in France , but not here. Is it really worth losing a regular customer because of a $2.50 baguette, or even worse, because of fifty cents of a croissant placed in a bag versus a plate? Do the math.