I have been an ardent BRU Cafe customer for quite a long time and have even blogged earlier here.

The last couple of months have led to some good and bad experiences.

They changed the food menu, for the better. I like to think, thanks to my feedback 🙂 but more likely due to vendor negotiation and need to revamp.

They have become pretty well liked, so crowded – good for them, bad for me. This has led to service issues far more than I would like.

They launched a Loyalty program ‘Bru Passport’ and there in began my more recent troubles. Not having visited the cafe in quite a while, I went earlier this week, saw the information, but before I could ask, it got crowded and was still so till I left, paying my bill by their ‘bean trotter card’ that I always use.

A day later, I was there with Yashesh and Vrajesh Hirjee and there was utter service breakdown, which we were least concerned with, because we were having fun; however the server could not answer the Passport question and just forgot to call the Manager, who finally came and explained the benefits. I opted immediately for it, but then it occurred to me and I asked – ‘Why were the regulars not told about this and received a reply that it was just launched; my rejoinder saying, I was here day before and was not told had no answer’ except apology that it would not happen again. Anyway, given, stamped I was sad having lost two coffees the previous day.

Two days later, yesterday at Bandra, meeting friends, specified that I needed different bills for both my coffees because of the passport. Handed over my card & passport with clear instructions for the bill. Nope, same bill with one stamp which provided no discount on my 4th coffee 🙁 No amount of debate helped, though the server & cashier said, will stamp it the next time additional etc. But that is like – stamp, without discount? and I ended up with double/triple whammy – lost the 2+1 coffee out of the 6 coffee I had during the week. So discount plus lost the 7th free coffee.

During the time, they have finally appeard on Twitter. WhatsBruing Taking advantage, had interacted 3-4 times. First when Surekha Pillai was in town and we wanted to meet up – 7-8 of us and I asked if they would reserve. Got an answer after we finished, asking me to follow them so they could share some information. The other was this week, about the loyalty program not being shared with regulars and the loss of discounts. Been more than a couple of days and no answer.

Will this stop me from visiting Bru. Nope. But it has seriously put a dent into my expectations and the perceived differentiator position that they occupied in my mind.

I was happy with things as they were, with expectations being met & exceeded, so:

Why introduce a Loyalty Program, without informing your ‘Bean Trotter’ card members?
Why would you introduce a program without training staff? And an option in the beginning to overcome mistakes?
Why initiate a social media presence, if you did not want to interact? Or maybe that was the need?

All I can say, that it has left me confused enough to ask What’s BRUing?

Update 11 Oct After writing this post, asked for the bill. Consumption was 7 coffees between 3 people over 4+ hours, and the server had been told about the Passport. We were informed that the earlier coffee bill had been made so only one stamp, and current would be two stamps between me and Vrajesh . No discussion worked, so agreed. Promptly came back, that Reliance not working so can’t help. Asked him to keep my card etc. Finally the manager reached, Gajendra and helped out by saying, he would charge me the next time and provide at least two stamp.

Nett Result – Loss of 5 coffee stamp in just one week. The price of loyalty.

A Bandra visit, spoke to Roy who said, I know your stamps are pending, but you need to bring the original bill of last month for me to verify and stamp it

In the meantime on the social media front 🙂

Mail of 21st October 2013
Dear Anaggh,

Our customer representative would like to meet you at your convenience. We would like to get your detailed feedback.

Request you to kindly share your contact number and a suitable time for us to call you. Thanks!
———————-
Regards,
Whats’s BRU’ing’ Team.

I responded to them by sending a link of this Blog post.

Their Response on 6th November 2013

Hi Anaggh,

Request you to please share your contact number with us.

Our customer care executive would like to get in touch with you.

Thanks

Sent them the number the same day, without actually expecting them to respond. Proven right. Still no feedback

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends