Americans are wasteful. Up until now with many companies downsizing and going belly up, I have never really paid that much attention. One corporation that comes to mind is Starbucks. With my business, I conduct a lot of breakfast meetings where I bring coffee and the like for small to medium groups. I often utilize Starbucks. When ordering a tote of coffee (serving 8-10 people) I typically ask for the accompanying "condiments". Rather than giving me enough for 8-10 people, I typically get enough sugar, sweetener and stir sticks for 50+ people . That is no exaggeration, and it happens every single time.
I recently purchased a coffee tote for my friends at the gym and counted 200+ sweeteners and sugars. Probably 60 stirs. The leftovers went right into my kitchen drawer for personal use. While I am thrilled I don't have to buy this stuff (it's NOT cheap) for quite some time thanks to Starbucks, it makes me a bit crazy.
Starbucks recently closed stores in my hometown, Indianapolis, and have been "right-sizing" across the country. I bet if their corporate powers-that-be knew of this practice they would cringe. Multiply me by even 500 customers a day and look at the wastefulness! Maybe they should train their staff to ask customers how many accompaniments they would like. Think of the dollars they could save.
On the other hand, every fast food restaurant in the country has bounced to the other extreme. Does no one use ketchup or salt anymore? Why do I have to ask for it? Why does it only make it into the bag about half the time?
I realize cost-cutting measures are in order and in theory, I support them. But I long for the days when common sense and customer service prevailed. I long for the days when employees were allowed to think for themselves -- she ordered fries, I'll stick some ketchup in the bag -- rather than follow some robotic policy of "No ketchup unless someone asks for it."
I also wish we still lived in a society where companies didn't have to worry about every patron taking advantage of their generosity.
Ahh...common sense. I guess it's gone by the wayside with the ketchup robots.