No Need to Ask the Smoothie Operator

The gym that I belong to isn’t just a gym, it’s a luxury spa-like fitness mega center which costs upwards of $100 per month to belong. It’s a bit of a stretch for my budget, but I’ve found it to be an investment that’s paying off in the self-esteem department. The fitness center has all sorts of amenities and the environment bright, upbeat and conducive to working out. It’s a national chain whose brand is all about promoting a healthy way of living and not simply a place for muscle heads to hang out.

Despite my satisfaction with my experience with this fitness company, I’ve recently noticed a business practice that quite honestly pisses me off. The employees working behind the counter at the smoothie bar are literally throwing out perfectly good food!

Today, the guy ahead of me in line ordered a 16 ounce serving of one of those hoity toity berry-banana protein boost concoctions made from only the best fresh fruit and high-end protein powders. So instead of measuring out the ingredients for a 16 ounce serving, the smoothie bar employee randomly dumped the ingredients into an industrial grade blender while throwing caution to the wind in terms of quantity. Needless to say she ended up with about 25 ounces of pureed gobidly goop, in which she used to fill the 16 ounce to go cup to the brim.

So what happened to the other nine ounces? I witnessed her turn around and toss the rest of it into the sink drain. Say w-h-h-aaat? Now, let me back up a moment. I’ve only observed this practice of food waste in the last couple weeks. It used to be that they’d serve customers any overflow smoothie in a smaller to-go cup. Needless to say, members are becoming outraged because they are seeing the food they are paying for get tossed down the drain right before their eyes.

So I questioned the smoothie operator about this and her response was, “Uhh… like, yeah. We, uh, like, got a new department head and we’re, like, not allowed to give people extra anymore.”

So I was all like, “But then your department head should train you to measure ingredients at the right amount so there’s no waste. You’re literally throwing food down the drain while there are people out there starving in the world.”

“Uhm… yeah, like, it is really hard to measure the ingredients. Some people like a lot of ice, some people want more fruit. So sometimes there’s a lot left over,” she tells me.

“Yes, but, your manager’s business practice of instructing you all to throw out the over flow isn’t saving your company a dime. So it is indeed a senseless policy.” I proceeded to tell her that I realize that she is just following her manager’s instructions and that it is unfair that she could get in trouble if she doesn’t comply and waste the food.

It seems to me that if this gym is all about health and wellness that this business practice goes against their brand. I have half the mind to write a complaint and send it to corporate. So there you have it. I guess today my cause is to get luxury fitness brands to solve world hunger [that’s sarcasm].

(wanderlust dateline: June 19, 2014)

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