Some time ago, while living in Latin America, I wrote this post about service.
And today, being in Moscow, I would like to come back to this topic.
We buy coffee for various reasons. To survive a day in the office, to wake up in the morning, to have somthing hot to drink, to treat ourselves, to try something new. We can buy it to go, or enjoy a cup in the coffee shop. We can buy beans.
We buy because we found something that tastes really special, or consider that place, or brand being a premium quality.
We choose the roastery because we probably know that the guy who works there won the World Roasting Championship, or our friend, a coffee lover, told us that this coffee is the best, or they are just putting everywhere on their facebook and instagram something like “perfect beans, perfect coffee”.
We drink in that coffee shop cause it is close to the workplace, or it is a chain and we know exactly what we’ll find in it, does not matter who is the barista who serves us.
But right now I want to talk about something exceptional. About the places we come back, over and over, about the places we go on Sunday morning, or day, to spend our precious hours on our free days.
And among all the possible choices, among thousands of coffee shops, most probably we’ll choose the one where we were treated well.
We’ll rememeber and come back to those ones, where the barista knows our name.
We’ll come back to the place where our preferences are rememebered.
We’ll return to the place where once in a while we get a “compliment”.
We’ll visit again the coffee shop where we can sit and talk with the owner, or just say “Hi!”
In the nearest future robots will be able to brew better coffee than human. They are more precise, they are more consistent. Soon they’ll be even faster, which is quite helpful during the rush hours.
But we’ll be coming back, over and over, to the places where we felt truly welcome, noticed, respected. Seen. When we felt me made a difference.
And sometimes I think that this is what we are coming for. Not just a cup of coffee.
And this is why it is so hard to create a really special place. Because the soul of it comes from those who serve there. You can teach how to treat a guest, you can have a scheme, rules, drills… But serving is coming from the heart, more than anything else. Serving means having a desire to make your guest feel at home, to help him, to treat him with respect. It is hard to teach, because to be good in service first you need to be good with yourself.