I dislike Roots. Their drinks can be good, sometimes really good, but their service is poor. We went there twice this week, and ended up annoyed both visits.

The First Visit

We’d been walking around Ward Place around 4pm – it was really, really hot – so we made a quick stop at the ODEL Roots for a some refreshment. There were three guys at the counter, chatting and flirting with the cashier girl. Rather than acknowledging our presence or asking what we wanted, they made us feel like we were interrupting them. When we tried to order the cashier gave us a glazed look, like she didn’t understand and struggled to help with our order.

We just didn’t like the staff. They were lazy and disinterested – look at the picture above of the guy leaning on the fridge; this was his default posture. At Roots they sometimes treat you like an inconvenience, and this poor service overshadows their sometimes good product. Ultimately, my strawberry juice was excellent and Indi’s dragon fruit juice was a beautiful bright purple (people actually turned around to see what it was) – but the service sort of ruined it.

The Second Visit

This time we visited the Roots in Nugegoda, hidden behind Cool Planet (another place with terrible customer service, but more on that later). The staff seemed slightly friendlier here, but again when we asked for an explanation regarding our smoothies they seemed confused and found it difficult to explain. We got a strawberry polka dot berry (Rs. 250, with apple juice and banana) and an avocado blush (Rs. 250, avocado, honey, etc.)

I generally go to Roots because I want a cold drink on a hot day, but my avocado smoothie was served completely un-iced. A warm smoothie is just…well, not very nice. When I complained, the solution was apparently to just drop a cube of ice in the drink rather than tossing it back into the blender with more. Indi’s smoothie, however, was ice cold and really good. But what’s the point if only one of them is good? This illustrates the sort of inconsistency you can expect from Roots.

So Here’s My Problem

Despite hating Roots, I often really want to go there. Because it’s hot, and occasionally they give you a really good smoothie. But more often you can end up with a warm drink and crappy service. And they’re everywhere – if you’re thirsty, chances are there’ll be a Roots lurking around somewhere, luring you into its lair of disappointment.

So do you go, or do you not go? I often find my desire for juice more compelling than the dismay of having to endure poor service.

And therein lies the rub.

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