Cafe Nero – London N10

The coffee is on a par with Starbucks, i.e. OK but nothing more. The cups:

give the more European feel that ties in with the stained wood and moody decor; I guess they’re going for a Left Bank, Sartre, polo necks and berets kind of thing. Which I think they pull off OK.

I love that they leave jugs of water out for you to help yourself. They also have a very fine caramel shortbread ( although recently changed the base from biscuit to pastry!! Why?), but mostly I like the staff. Whatever they tell them at Nero training camp, the have created an ethos amongst the staff  which makes them appear genuinely cheerful and genuinely happy to serve.

There’s just one thing though. And its only in one branch, but it’s enough to creep me out more than a little.

At my local branch in Muswell Hill I’ve noticed that the name signed against the sheet for cleaning the toilets, to show they’re maintaining good hygiene standards (or at least that someone’s coming in and signing the sheet every couple of hours) is always the same name. This means one of two things: there is some pretty intense workplace bullying going on and behind the smiles, the staff are forcing one of their co-workers to clean the toilets every two hours day in day out. Or, one member of staff (who is otherwise making your coffee and fixing your panini), is volunteering to clean the toilets the whole time, about which the less speculation the better as far as I’m concerned!

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