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So Right, yet Unsustainable

I’m not often distressed by excess, but a recent trip to Mugg and Bean confirms that they have lost the plot.

One used to be able to order a half-portion of their cakes, but their new menu – updated and up-priced quarterly by the powers that be – excludes this. Why am I upset? Because they removed a choice they gave me previously, and forced me to carry a large polystyrene container into other shops.

The truth is, M and B still has great food – I still love their “Seriyazz” Cappuccino, breakfasts and salads. And I’m sure that branding themselves as the “generous portion” restaurant (once a homely coffee shop) may be a differentiator. But is it a sustainable one?

After all, they have modelled themselves on an American model, so why not continue the trend? Well, the current state of affairs in that land (and locally) shows horrendous figures for youth obesity, not to mention the adult population. We are more inactive now than ever before in human history, thanks to technology and the prestige of “office jobs.” Most of us have a gym membership that we neglect, or avoid the place compulsively. In such a situation, I argue, should the customer not be encouraged to eat well, by having healthy choices, or at least not “megasizing” portions?

I want to be good, Mugg and Bean. Give me the option. Because I represent the new breed of customer – one who sees how you ignore the recession and keep raising prices, without specials. Your packaging and management training could do with a revamp, too, my erstwhile friends. Famous Brands may have lumped you with their other brands, and have charged the franchisee more for the privilege, but please remember the human faces who pay your bills.

We have options, in case you didn’t know.

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