I spent the afternoon writing at Panera, which is always a delightful spot to work. Good food, caffeine-free soda, free Wi-Fi, and comfortable surroundings.
I have just one complaint.
I typically order one of two sandwiches. The first is made with an ale mustard. The second is made with chipotle mayonnaise.
I’m allergic of mustard and I despise mayonnaise, so I always ask that my sandwiches be made without these condiments. And every time I ask, regardless of who is taking my order or where I am, I am told that it will take ten minutes to prepare my “special order.” This is always said to me with great regret, and this evening, it was said in such a way that the server was clearly hoping that I might change my mind.
I wish these ten minute warnings would stop, for a few reasons:
First, it never takes ten minutes.
Second, every meal, regardless of what you have ordered, takes at least five minutes to prepare, so ten minutes is hardly a problem. Think about it: If you’re going to take my name after I order and hand me a buzzer to alert me when my food is ready, you’re probably not going to be handing it to me in a minute or two. Right? So what’s ten minutes?
Third, ten minutes to wait for a palatable sandwich that I can eat without it killing me is not a bother.
Last, ten minutes for a fresh sandwich sounds like a good deal to me. It’s not as if I’m sitting in the McDonald’s drive-thru, running late to an important meeting. It’s Panera. Not fine dining but not fast food either. And if I have to wait ten minutes to enjoy a sandwich that is not prepared ahead of time, I’ll do so happily.