I came across a newly opened doughnut shop the other day. You couldn’t miss it because there was a long queue snaking outside.

Wow, it must be good.

So we joined the queue and started waiting patiently.

When it finally came to our turn after more than 30 minutes, we had already decided on the flavours we want.

It dawned on us that the queue was caused by slow service rather than popular demand.

The simple matter of packing up 12 doughnuts took the assistant more than 3 minutes. She had to fold the boxes from its flat pack form, put the doughnuts into the box, and shuttle between the counter and kitchen for the flavours that have run out.

I counted six helpers in the kitchen preparing the doughnuts, but only one serving the customers. With a simple reshuffling of workers, the wait could have easily been halved.

Yet unsuspecting people were joining the queue all the time. But treat your customers like fools, and they will eventually wise up and take their business elsewhere.