One of the hardest things about running a cafe is managing the people we employ. The easy thing to do is to go for a pretty face or choose someone who just happened to drop by when our last barista Phil suddenly announced his resignation – with immediate effect!
I recently saw an ad on Craig’s list by Blenz Coffee – Wanted – someone who can come to work at 6am with a smile! That made me smile. It’s a great heading and a great concept. The truth is, our staff our human beings. Sometimes they have their good days, other times they have their bad. But a positive determination makes all the difference.
Our staff get paid $12 an hour. It’s not the most in our industry and it’s not the least. You could say it’s within the market band. When we hire somebody at Melriches we tell them this. But we also say – you’re bright, and it’s valuable for us to have you for a while. We’ll help you to move on to the next level, to leave. Are you going to help yourself?
What do we mean? Well, the thing is, we want bright people, people with ambition, who will go on and make lots of positive changes. You might think you’re making coffee and working in a coffee shop because that’s the first impression someone might have when they walk in the door. But actually, you’re making human connections and you’re working in a people shop. Or should I say, having fun with people who just happen to be here drinking coffee. Why are they hear drinking coffee? Maybe it’s because the like coffee. Or maybe it’s because really what they’re looking for is a connection, somewhere they belong and feel valued.
The sooner our staff realise this, the more fun they have actually being here. It’s much easier for them to understand where they are and what they can do. It never ceases to thrill me when I see our staff looking after our customers. The more they do that, the more they want to experience that again too. And hopefully they will take that on to all the different parts of their lives. And when it’s time for them to leave us and move on somewhere new.
We’re lucky enough at Melriches to get a lot of customers through our doors. Sometimes our service might be a little slow, and maybe our staff won’t be able to chat as long as they’d like too. Every Wednesday at 10am we have a staff customer coffee hour. It’s a chance for us to sit down with our customers and have a chat over coffee. It’s a great way for us to get closer, so next time why not come round at 10am. We’d really like to hear your thoughts.
And we can always be reached via email, telephone or twitter. Thank you for all your wonderful support.
Xaviar De Santos,
Also the coffee shop manager