Welcome to Day 2 of 30. I barely made this one in time after a very long day working and training. But I'm sticking to my commitment of blogging, so here we go!
An interesting thing that happens from opening up your voice after keeping your thoughts to yourself for so long is that you have way too many thoughts to talk about. Today's topics were inspired by conversations from today's trainings. I have thought about them at some length before, but haven't let my feelings known until now.
The first topic is milk steaming for cafe service. I have witnessed some strange service philosophies lately in specialty cafes, especially regarding milk. In the US we have simultaneously adopted smaller drink sizes (which I love) as well as the standard of always steaming fresh milk for drinks (which I mostly love). Do you wonder what I don't love about fresh milk?
It's the massive amounts of waste.
Somehow steaming fresh milk for drinks has turned into only steaming enough milk for the current drink being made. It is almost as if nothing matters more than the one drink being prepared at the moment. By using one milk jug for one drink, along with the overall decrease in drink size average, it has become more and more difficult to portion the correct amount of milk without wasting much. Since when did preparing perfect milk for two, or *gasp* three or four, drinks at a time become a taboo?
Busy cafes should know how to push out multiple drinks in a very timely fashion. Just because the milk for a drink was steamed together with another does not make one inferior (as long as you have done it properly) or contaminated. Maybe I find this topic funny because I actually made all 4 of my WBC cappuccinos with one 1L jug of milk. Steaming one jug of milk for each drink increases your service time, increases your waste, decreases you chances of getting a perfect texture, and has almost no difference in customer perception of how well their coffee was made. Again, you still have to make great looking latte art, perhaps implementing a foam pour off and a little care, but you can absolutely make great milk for two drinks at a time. Trust me.
The next topic is service details. Today I spoke about small details such as orienting latte art with the handle, cleaning small spills, moving with command, and considering details that the customer had never even considered. The reason I talk about these things (regularly) is they equate to impeccable service experiences. We once called it "attention to details", and this refers to everything possible in relation to the customer's experience. It can be as direct as hand delivering their drink when they have a seat or as simple as turning their cup handle toward their dominant hand. Not only should you do these things in your cafe, but all staff should be doing them EVERY TIME. Every tiny detail can add the service experience, and by showing that you are in control of it all they will appreciate your expertise.
I like to say that these details are what make a good barista great.
The best service I have ever had was never pointed out to me or even seemed like a big deal. But after the fact I felt like a king. It was like the person cared about how I felt. And let me tell you, I felt like royalty. Not hollow "OMG you won a competition" royalty, but rather "You deserve to be treated well" royalty. I have had those experiences rarely in cafes, but when I have I tell everyone about it.
So here my ask for the day: Make more of these royalty moments in coffee! Not through trying to make coffee taste like rainbows, but through great service details. I'm pretty sure your customers will appreciate it. I know I will.
That's it for today. Thanks for catching up. Come on back tomorrow...