My only interaction with Mama Mia was at the Calcutta Club’s Bakery Carnival. They made my visit to the Carnival memorable by being snooty. Frankly speaking, they had the best stall at the Carnival with some of the best baked exhibits on display, but mama mia, it won’t earn your bread and butter – sorry, pastry and gelato (pun intended) by being snooty and rude to your customers.
But had I been a judge at the Carnival, I would have given them first prize for the best presentation, but then the buck stops there. Maybe that would have made them more arrogant than before and I shudder to think.
So here’s how my experience went at the Mama Mia stall at the Calcutta Club Bakery Carnival, December 2010 when I wanted to buy a slice of a chocolate cake.
I – “Why not, of course!”
When I paid Rs. 65/- worth of coupon (we had to buy coupons from the club counter),…
…Mama Mia staff – “Another Rs.65/- Ma’am.”
I – “For what?”
Mama Mia staff -”The ice cream.”
I said, “You didn’t tell me it was extra cost. You should have told me that before and it is not written anywhere that ice cream scoop cost extra!”
Snooty Mama Mia staff – “If you don’t want it, don’t take it’!”
I had no idea that one can get this kind of arrogance by serving ordinary pastries and ice creams. Let me tell you, Monginis is far better The point is, it is not about paying the extra 65/- bucks for a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but thinking customers are fools is more irritating.
There is a lot that goes into making a brand successful and being snooty and over smart is definitely not going to take anybody anywhere. There is a way of handling miscommunication. Even though you mention the price of the pastries in tags, but if you are charging extra for something else, it is your responsibility to let your customers know.
A customer has a right to ask why something costs extra and why wasn’t it mentioned in a price list. There is no reason for the guy in charge at Mama Mia to raise an eye brow. It just goes to show that even the most fancy and pretentious up market bakery outlet can let its customers down by not training them on how to handle customers with care.
We have grown up with brands like Monginis, and I don’t remember till date where they have been rude to us. There is a Monginis everywhere in India and we remember growing up celebrating every birthday with a cake ordered from Monginis (my favourite Pineapple Pastry Cake), and they never made us feel out of place. That is why it is so appalling to see the snoot factor from new comers like Mama Mia in the market.
Just because brands like Mama Mia come up with gelato and pastries which are phoren sounding, does not give them the license to be rude to their customers. It just goes to show old school (Monginis) is the best school.