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Right of Reply: Independent Irish Coffee Shops

This e-mail came through last week in response to my comment about the specials being offered by a particular coffee shop in Dublin 2.

I notice your recent reference to insomnia and the great value they offer.
Well, we offer much better value but never get any recognition and it really pisses me off. I only use ORGANIC coffee and offer a free ” chez emily” irish handmade chocolate with each coffee – all coffees now only 2.50!!!!!!!!!! that’s 12oz by the way.
We have same deals as insomnia – sandwich + coffee 4.95 and coffee and pastry/scone 2.95, coffee+pannini 5.95 but we also have a sandwich + 500ml water 2.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Two water for one euro!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also you can choose your fillings on the sandwich, pannini + coffee deals. [two fillings and two salads] and the bread.
ALSO we use really good ingredients- gm free -free-range eggs and real ham and a small family run bakery.
We also offer a free banana when you buy a sandwich [most days] we also offer student discount on sandwiches and panninis.
I am sick of hearing about multiples offering good value – what about the small independents that offer real choice, real value and REAL SERVICE -that seems to be something that’s  never mentioned these days.
Any chance of a little publicity to help us or are we doomed to having boring impersonal coffee shop chains as well as supermarkets everywhere?

The above is from the owner of the RunnerBean Cafe on Nassau Street. I’m familiar with the place so I’m only too happy to publish this.

5 comments On Right of Reply: Independent Irish Coffee Shops

  • “pisses me off”, “!!!!!!!!!!” “I am sick of hearing about”

    Seems like a bit of an angry overreaction to a plug of a rival. I have to say this post would actually turn me off visiting the RunnerBean because if something was wrong and I had to dare to complain I would be afraid of getting my head bitten off.

  • love the runner bean! great tasty food, loads of choice and brilliant offers at the moment, as a student who also works its great to take advantage of the discount at lunchtime. chez emily if lovely chocolate too 🙂

  • Wouldn’t agree with ya Colm. Good on RunnerBean. It’s a pain when the smoothie (no pun intended) chains hog the limelight with fancy dancy PR.

    Our streets are beginning to look like Birmingham or Bristol. Same shops, same fronts but not the equivalent prices.

    Great to see a small guy having a go. When in Dublin I’ll drop in for a bite.

    Good on VI for the right to reply.

  • Well Colm, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Whilst the staff are all sound their boss is a p****. He is always shouting at his staff needlessly in front of customers and to be honest his demeanour has lost him a regular customer, though it is near my work I now shop elsewhere. And no, it is not just me- I mentioned it in work once and several people knew the guy I was talking about straight away and agreed that he was a bully to his staff. This is not a once-off, “he was having a bad day” thing- it happened regularly. The boss should bear in mind that customers will recall a bad experience on average at a ratio of 9:1 to good shopping experiences. I once worked in a shop where management realised this and also did not tolerate bullying.

    Good day sir.

  • Well thanks for your comments-good and bad JiM and COLM, I am the p***** you are talking about, and I am genuinely sorry that you hold the opinion of me that you do. I am also sorry that we have lost your custom- genuinely. I would be grateful if you would just consider the following however, I had two staff when you wrote your comment one of whom has been with me for 6 years and one who has just left after two years and is coming back because she enjoyed working here so much! I work here every day and take the service of good quality food very seriously- perhaps too seriously sometimes, [Iadmit that freely] I don’t think that people’s health should be taken lightly and I certainly don’t – if I have shouted at staff members I can assure you that it has been for very serious reasons and because they have not taken instruction in health and safety [your health and safety] on board. It is not something that happens regularly as you suggest but is there an employer out there that has not got a bit hot under the collar sometime in over 20 years? I am not perfect and I do have my moments but I would suggest that your oppinion is not shared by the majority of my customers [obviously] and I would refer you to cheapeats.ie- lunchtime-another lunch secret to show you the proof of this. I genuinely regret that you think I am a bully – an accusation I deny I suggest that you might ask my staff [when I am not here] if they agree- I would also suggest that you give me the opportunity to discuss your comments in an amicable way sometime but I doubt that you will somehow. surprise me.! to Colm I am fighting my corner and trying to survive like everyone elso- Insomnia get loads of publicity maybe because they have loads of shops- if you every did have reason to complain I guarantee you that the first thing I do is to tell you that I am happy to get complaints [unlike Jim ] because then I can address them, the second thing I do is to apologise and the third thing I do is ask YOU what we can do to make it right and stop it happenning again and refund or replace- so there you go , I wonder would get to speak to anyone who cared in Insomnia?

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