When you are running a cafe, one of the decisions you need to make is whether you will offer table service, or if you will set up an “order and pay at counter” situation.
With the former, there’s an extra staff cost, but it comes with the benefit of making your customers more relaxed, and – you hope – more inclined to buy more.
With the latter, there’s inconvenience for the customer, but a better chance to build rapport between customer and barista, and – you hope – to encourage more return business.
The trap, though, and the reason for this post, is to warn against the pitfall if being so caught up in your system that you drive the customer away.
If a table service customer has stepped up from the table, and expressed frustration with the wait, you don’t send them back to the table to wait again – you take their order, or risk losing the customer, the business, and any future referrals they might make to their friends.