What does iced coffee mean to you?

Jul 21, 2007 • Karen

This is a dilemma that I have been facing at Panera Bread. Iced coffee is not on our menu, but people order it anyway. At first, I thought this meant putting the cold coffee base mix that we use for our blended drinks in a cup with ice (and not blending it). When Whitney made it, she put espresso in a cup with ice and filled it the rest of the way with milk. But when I made this version of iced coffee for a customer, they were very confused when I asked if they wanted skim or 2%...they expected drip coffee with ice. I can't win.

At Panera, they have a sign up saying that they donate their leftover baked goods to food shelters at the end of the night (since they never sell day-old stuff). This is not quite true, at least at the location I'm working at. It would be more accurate to say that we are willing to donate all our baked goods to food shelters and other non-profits; however, those groups have to come and pick them up, and here the YMCA people only come by on Sunday and Monday. Thus, the other days that I work the night shift I have a huge moral quandary.

On the one hand, while we are allowed to take home whatever we want at the end of the night, I want to limit my takings so I don't turn into a blubberous manatee. On the other hand, something seems seriously ethically wrong with throwing piles and piles of bread loaves, bagels, and pastries into a dumpster. (Especially having read the dumpster-diving sections in 'Evasion'.) The other cashiers and I take a single bite out of the scones we haven't tried yet, then toss them in the trash bag with the rest of the buttery goodness/newly-minted trash. Tasty, but so so decadent. When I discovered an untouched, glistening brownie round on the shelf tonight, I broke. I just could not throw it away.

So now there's a huge chocolate-frosted brownie in my kitchen, along with a baguette, loaf of white whole wheat, asiago cheese focaccia, and a couple pastries. God help me.