Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Starving at Aldergrove - Starbucks opening late

After a 4am start, driving up to Belfast International Airport, avoiding the check-in queue and going straight to security with my easyJet boarding pass printed out at home ... it was all going very smoothly.

Starting to get peckish though.

But yet again, Starbucks aren't opening until 6am - by then I'll be boarded on the 06:15 Stansted flight.

It takes two members of staff to arrive on time to get Starbucks open at 5.30am as scheduled. But ever since they first opened at the airport, they've been unreliable.

Do they not have a rota? Do they not need two staff every morning? Do they find it so hard to run their other non-airport outlets?

You'd think that TBI, the owners of Belfast International, would have been monitoring their performance and helped to raise their game.

As I've been typing, I've been standing in the queue for Cafe Rankin - the only other airside catering outlet with food available. (The bar around the corner has about 5 sandwiches and no muffins.) But I've only just reached the counter, since they've only one member of staff serving this morning.

Flight just been called - still in the queue!


John Self said...

Getting foodily refreshed outside Belfast other than at strict mealtimes is a hard task these days. On Sunday we were visiting friends on the north coast, and tried to go for lunch at 3pm in a hotel and then in 55 Degrees North at Portrush, and both told us they stopped serving meals at 2! Now I know why some rural roadside establishments boast "FOOD SERVED ALL DAY" on their signs - it really is a boast round those parts.

Flying back from New York in April, the Continental flight gets in around 9am, so at 10ish on the way home we tried to call in for breakfast at the Hilton Templepatrick, not having had a proper meal since lunchtime the previous day. Sorry, breakfast's off and no more food till lunchtime! Same with another establishment (whose name escapes me). We ended up in Tesco Knocknagoney, where they provided a very satisfying seven piece breakfast for about £2.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that your Starbucks experience doesn't surprise me in the least. (Oh and lest Cafe Rankin should come out of this with too much credit, I recall one Sunday I tried to have a panini in their CastleCourt outlet at 4:15pm. Sorry, I was told, we turn the oven off at 4. Even though the place will remain open until 6.)

Alan in Belfast said...

Same story this morning again - Starbucks at Aldergrove not opening until 6am.

Fired off a complaint email to the airport to see if they'll comment.

Niall Gillespie said...

After standing a few people behind you in the queue on 12th (sorry to the people in between over the top of whom we exchanged our disgust with Starbucks), I phoned Starbuck customer support.

Very helpful lady confirmed official opening time as 5.30 am. She was harsher than me, saying they have lots of airport stores which do open on time, so this one should too.

Last night I arrived home to find a letter with 3 free vouchers. So at least they are listening.

Anonymous said...

Folks as a ex employee of Starbucks at BIA I can let you know that when the shop first opened I had to start at 4am. Due to poor pay and poor management this store goes through staff like nothing I've ever seen before. Even when they call other stores to get staff in most of them dont want to go. I had even heard that on one Friday afternoon this very store closed at 2pm. The BIA store pay the same hourly rate as the high street stores that only open 9am-6pm. So you can see why staff are upset when they have to get up at 2.30am to start at 4am for the same rate of pay as say the Starbucks at Juntion One.
I have seen a lot of the hardest working people leave or get dismissed because of Starbucks silly rules. This will continue until they wise up.... and smell the coffee!

viagra without prescription said...

I've heard that Starbucks coffee offer the most delicious coffees and capuccinos that's why i WANT TO GO THERE to enjoy something rally good.

Elliott Broidy said...

6am opening in an airport. That doesn't make much sense at all. And it's a shame to have such terrible service anywhere where you are in a rush!