Lets say you buy a some ice cream. You get your wonderful ice cream cone from the employee and they point you to a small metal dish to pick up the coins you should recieve as change (the currency is handed to the customer by the employee). A fair number of stores in the USA do this (the change is automatically put in the dish – essentially by the cash register).
It is a small thing but it seems to me this is pretty lame customer service. Ok, I understand you can speed things up but still it seems not the right image to present to customers that you can’t be bothered to hand them their change. Chipotle (at least at some stores) has given this practice a smart twist – I think. The change is dispensed to the employee (they don’t need to count it) but they then hand it to the customer – which seems to convey a sense of customer focus. I am sure this doesn’t matter much to many people but my guess is that the psychology of personal contact is marred by being directed to pick up your change from a dish.