"I got up to the kiosk and it was pretty self-explanatory. It didn’t take me long at all to get my coffee ordered. I moved into the line that reminded me of a Disney queue line. I had to wait there for my coffee, but at least it was interesting. On my right I could see the barista’s making coffee through a small glass wall that went from the table top to about 7ft high. Their operation was a well-oiled machine. I could hear them talking on the other side of the wall and there was no doubt that these people knew how to make good coffee. The bar looked extremely clean and organized, which always makes me feel better about a place. On the other side of the line I could see through a window where they were roasting the coffee. The lady making coffee wore a bright red bandanna around her head to match that matched her poke-a-dot dress. She smiled and waved. I could not help but think that she was not what I expected a coffee roaster to look like."
There are a couple of things in there that give away a secret or two, but nothing that hasn't been done before. This excerpt demonstrates some major points that I want to be part of my shop:
- Use technology to reduce the need for headcount without reducing the experience, which is expressly human
- Waiting in line is a necessary evil. Disney has figured this out better than any company in the world. You may have to wait 45 minutes to get on a ride, but it isn't miserable because they have so much stuff along the way. I would structure my shop so that waiting for your coffee was like waiting in a Disney queue.
- I want to have operations so nailed down, so tight that I could crank out drinks faster than anyone. Operations is a show and will want people to see it.
- I also want people to see the "kitchen" and the people working in it. I want them to see how clean the surfaces are. I want them to see them washing their hands for 30 seconds before working on the bar. I want them know that we put a lot of care into what you paid for.
- Another reason to allow people to watch the operations is to build the mythos of quality. If you can see it being made, you will know how well it was done. On the reverse, customers can also see when you cut corners, so there is a built in quality check.
- I want the roaster to be more involved in the coffee experience. Roasters do cuppings and other things, but why not have a roaster come out and sell 1-lb bags to customer? They know the coffee better than anyone.
- Lastly, as I said in a previous blog post, I want to challenge people's perceptions. I want them to look at my shop and my people and go, "wow, I did not expect that."
There is some of my beginning thoughts. Let me know your thoughts in the the comments.