Fancy a coffee or a 5S lesson?

Nice place Singapore….

Asia-lite  some people call it. Lovely botanical gardens and shopping malls and a subway system where everyone gets up for older travellers. And no nasty insects despite the heat and humidity. The airport is huge but there are orchids everywhere and matters run smoothly.

Unless you want a coffee… A well-known coffee chain has a very lucrative franchise there. And they spend loadsamoney on new product adverts for flavours of coffee you wouldn’t want. Seems to work though. Lots of passengers were buying latest coffee with cinnamon or vanilla or what looked like turnip soup added.

They don’t seem to be big fans of 5S though. Clearing the tables you may call it.

So right in the middle of a huge busy airport with people coming and going in every direction, many of whom don’t have access to a frequent flyer lounge, but who do get just as tired when travelling they queue to order their coffee and then have to juggle hand baggage and table detritus. Some people don’t finish their coffee if they have to rush. Cold coffee on the table or your bags. Delightful.


“A place for everything, everything in its place”. Nope, actually, unless management’s plan was the floor, the table or somewhere in between, with customers blaming each other for “accidents”.


Edinburgh is a nice place too…

A bit colder than Singapore. It’s got a castle though and its own botanical gardens albeit with a few less banana trees. It’s got a lovely art gallery in the Princes Street gardens, which unfortunately does a roaring trade in its café and restaurant, so it’s hard to find a good place for a coffee and a view. Oh the problems of success!

Unless you went up a few yards to a major retail store on Princes Street. First floor coffee shop by the window, overlooking Edinburgh castle. “Just the job”. Hardly anyone in there. Perfect. Two coffees please.

Ah, can’t find an empty table”

“There must be one that has been cleared surely”.

“No, that one’s got used food on it. And that one. And that one.”

Counted eighteen empty tables. Well empty of customers but full of uncleared food. Won’t go there again, despite the lovely views. And neither will anyone else. It closed!



Colm Doran

Managing Director

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