St Pauls - One New Change - Blaynos Review
Located a few minutes away from my office in One New Change, this would be a heavily used branch if not for the constant queues (no surprise given its location in the heart of copious offices). There's never been an occasion when we've not had to wait 15+ mins for a table on a Friday or under 20 minutes for food. This particular visit, however, was certainly the nadir.
After a good half hour wait for a table, we finally ordered our food, but it was a whopping 45-50 minutes before our table got any food - and one of my colleagues had to wait over an hour! Staff were poor at attending (side note: the Nandoca lady who works the door everyday is outstanding; clearly a demanding role in such a branch, she does her utmost to make sure the branch operates as smoothly as possible). Several staff members tried to brush us off before eventually we tracked down some type of manager, who agreed to refund my colleague's order as we had already finished by the time his food came. As such, I cannot say that I enjoyed food for this simple reason.
There also needs to be much more cutlery and sauces available during the lunch rush. Fair enough if cutlery can't be turned around to meet demand so at least make more available - likewise more sauce bottles would be ideal.
Southwark is a much better branch at dealing with the lunch rush and feels a lot lot less crowded given the vast railway arches. I've only been to Farringdon after work a few times and it seems to cope well but I can imagine it shares a similar problem at lunch (Lime Street also is very busy at lunch). Also, if you're going for a takeaway, order online; there's always 12-15 people waiting for orders, further cluttering the area. This branch has its hands tied in terms of space available, so do try and visit outside of 12 and 2 each weekday if possible - which often isn't if you're at work!
To give this branch some credit, having been there for lunch this most recent Friday, my butterfly burger, chips and halloumi were all excellent and would be rated a solid 4.5 (still a 40min wait, and that's the shortest I've ever had!)