Friday, March 06, 2009

Since when did Tesco start outsourcing their cafes to Starbucks

View from the Starbucks cafe/franchise in Ballymena's out-of-town Tesco

In one corner, nine teens and twenty-year olds are sitting around a table, having divested a couple of other nearby tables of their chairs. They're all leant forward, earnestly discussing and planning. An occasional titter circles around the group and then they settle again. Sorry for stereotyping, but they have the look of Christians planning a youth event somewhere the parking was free and the coffee trendy.

At another table up in this balcony vantage point, a thirteen year old is baby sitting his 12-18 month old sister while his Mum does the shopping in the aisles visible below. He's not making as much headway with his muffin as the toddler is with the enormous cookie he chose for her. She giggles every now and again.

It's not busy and all the while, the barista is chatting up two young students while his colleague follows the recipe for their drink. He announces that his tax is paying for their caramel.

A courting couple - no rings! - sit opposite each other on the brown comfy seats, clasping their life-giving grande mugs of steaming caffeine, not talking to each other. Just resting in each other's company.

Me, I'm sitting down having done the weekly shopping up the road in Sainsburys, but their cafe closed much earlier. Tesco's cafe is open - except it's a Buckstars franchise. So no one over forty in sight. Isn't this some kind of indirect discrimination - the only food and drink outlet in the store doesn't cater for the older, tired shopper?

They're giving away "complimentary grounds for your garden" - something I remember lugging across on a plane from a London Starbucks as an extra special Christmas present three years ago.

Back to my book.

(And no offence intended to any lovers of Starbucks!)

1 comment:

Norwin! said...

You make it sound very peaceful and appealing somehow!
Maybe it's the "Alan the observer of humanity" vibe.