Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Higher Learning Needed at Second Cup U of O

Today I headed over to the University of Ottawa's Morrisset Library to check out the Second Cup (65 Universite Private, Ottawa). 

This Second Cup location is located inside the University's Morriset Library on the main floor next to the elevators.  Just do a circle around the 4 elevators in the middle and you will find it! 

An issue with this Second Cup, like all food establishments on the University of Ottawa campus, is the opening hours keep changing.  The hours change to meet the changing schedules of students on campus.  Thus, before looking for food on campus, especially on weekends and during the summer, your best bet is to check the hours on the University's Food Services website.

I arrived at the Second Cup outlet to only one customer in line.  I was asked immediately what I would like to order.  The problem was, I didn't know yet.  At Second Cup I usually go for the flavoured coffees and most locations have you pass by the selection of coffees.  This one,  somehow I missed the lineup que (not their fault) and went straight for the cash. 

At the counter I noticed there were five Barista's working.  This was a first, the most Barista's at a Second Cup coffee working behind the counter I had ever seen was three and these locations were busy.  The Morriset Library counter at 1:30 P.M. on an afternoon seemed slow.  But perhaps this is because the workers need to be gauranteed so many hours per day or week.  This is mainly because the University of Ottawa Food Services division owns this Second Cup franchise location and thus, as employees,  the workers are likely unionized.  This results in the union negotiating with the University representatives over the number of  hours each employee/worker is entitled too.  Hence the need for 5 employees at the Second Cup on a not very busy Wednesday afternoon.

 I did a quick survey of the coffees and placed my order.

The Order: 1 Medium Belgian Chocolate Black Coffee.

After ordering, paid using my Second Cup coffee gift card, waited for my drink to be poured and left.  No issue with service, but I cannot figure out for the life of me why 5 workers were necessary. 

The baked goods at this location seemed sub par.  There was no evident number of muffins or other bakery items like at other Second Cups to tickle your fancy.  Just one display case somewhat empty.  Hopefully this was due to the baked goods being sold out from earlier sales during a busy morning.  A busy morning rush would also explain why five employees were needed to man the counter.  

The Belgian Chocolate Coffee is one of my favourite Second Cup Coffees as it provides a chocolaty taste to an otherwise straight black coffee.  However, this cup just was not on par with what I have had before from other Second Cups.  There was only a hint of Chocolate to the coffee.  The rest of the taste was an over brewed strong Starbucks black coffee.  I was lucky it did not taste burnt.  Really, with 5 employees standing there all seeking university degrees someone must know how to brew coffee.  Heck, they are in a library, one of those 8,000 books must have step by step instructions on how to do so. 

Overall, this Second Cup location is overstaffed and provides pour coffee. Someone from Second Cup head office needs to provide "Higher Learning" to the University of Ottawa Food Services' Employees as they obviously cannot provide a decent cup of coffee or stock their baked goods correctly like other Second Cup locations nearby.

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