Specialty Coffee Retailer

Specialty Coffee Retailer November 2012

Specialty Coffee Retailer is a publication for owners, managers and employees of retail outlets that sell specialty coffee. Its scope includes best sales practices, supplies, business trends and anything else to assist the small coffee retailer.

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/92590

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Page 7 of 43

JACK'S BLEND How 'staff work' helps hold the line M encompassed a number of responsibilities, but a critical aspect was making sure each line had the individual pieces it needed. My job was considered a support or "staff " position, and the people who actually assembled the parts were called "line workers." Although the jobs are completely diff erent, both are required any years ago, I worked in a factory as a material handler, supplying the lines that produced car parts. My job to successfully make car parts. Line workers with no support staff will not be successful. Jobs such as parts ordering, labor scheduling, quality control, cost accounting and more will not get done, and without them the line will fail. Without the foresight and action of a support team the line workers will produce poorer and poorer quality until the line fi nally grinds to a halt. On the other hand, all sorts of support staff can do their jobs, but without skilled line workers to assemble they will produce no parts. Both positions are needed. Both are important. So how workers. Th ey are assembling the parts for the customer. Anything besides directly serving a customer or spending time on non-line work would be considered staff work. Staff work encompasses such things as barista training and re-training, customer service training, product quality improvement, equipment improvement, education, trade shows, team building and more. Th ese jobs, while not directly generating cash, are all critical. I once heard it said (and have since stolen the statement does this relate to you and coff ee? Th ink of it this way: Your cashiers/baristas are the line and call it my own) that a coff ee business should really view itself as a barista training business. Turnover in foodservice is notoriously high, and one of the biggest complaints I hear from clients and coff ee shop owners is the inability to fi nd and retain quality employees. Employees in coff ee shops are almost always simple line workers, with little or no vision for the support that staff functions add. To help visualize how this plays out in your store, here are typical jobs for line and staff : Line: Brew coff ee; make espresso beverages, smoothies ingredients, train and re-train staff , maintain equipment, update menus and more. and other drinks; toast bagels; build sandwiches; run the cash register; clean tables; do dishes, and so on. Staff : Systematize jobs for consistency, source better 8 by Jack Groot they allowed to actually put on an apron and nametag and help customers. And even then, a trainer stands next to them, guides them and answers questions until they get comfortable with the job. And they haven't even begun to think about the espresso machine yet. We won't let them. Our typical employee doesn't attend barista training class for three to six months aſt er being hired, and only aſt er proving themselves as JP's employees. Our fi rst goal is to give employees the tools to do the job they are hired. Th ey spend hours with the operations manager getting trained and acquainted with everything they need to do their jobs. Th en they are educated on all of our coff ees, teas and daily operations. Th en they are trained on the POS system, the menu and what we expect in customer service. Only aſt er they have gone through all of this training are little or no support staff and focus all of the attention on line workers. "Get the cash and serve the drinks" is the mantra, with little thought, or maybe better-said, little action to support line workers with what they need to be truly successful for the long haul. Our new employees go through a rigorous process aſt er I believe that many, dare I say most, coff ee shops have before actually asking them to do it. Our second goal is to continually improve everything we are and do. Th ese things will not happen if we only have a vision for line work. We have a mindset of continuous improvement, and you must too. I know some of you reading this may think, "I can't aff ord that much time," or "I don't have that many staff people or the money to pay for all that extra labor." But if you don't start somewhere, building step by step, you'll never get there. You must allocate time and money to develop your systems, create and improve training programs, assure and enhance quality, teach and build a dynamic customer service attitude and more if you are going to be a dynamic, long-term, profi table and successful business. SCR Jack Groot owns JP's Coff ee in Holland, Mich. He also provides coff ee s new blog, business consulting and training through the Midwest Barista School (MBS) and On Track Coff ee Consulting. Also, check out Jack' "Jack Groot's blog – confessions of a coff ee shop owner" at www.coff eegroot. com where you can read more from Jack's two decades as a coff ee shop owner and sign up for the MBS newsletter. Jack can be reached at jack@ jpscoff ee.com or 866-321-4MBS.

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