Saturday, August 22, 2009

This just in -- It happens just one customer at a time...that's all:)

Vickie from Southfield sent this one in...

I can't tell you enough how much I have come to enjoy Biggby Coffee. I was a die hard Starbuck's fanatic always driving out of my way for my morning brew. Then I moved, a new way to work was necessary, this is when I stumbled upon Biggby Coffee! The Biggby Staff are fantastic! They are always upbeat, cheerful, and, informative. They get my day off to a great start...not to mention the Brew...always smooth, brewed to perfection, never bitter or burnt. YUM! I have grown to enjoy the morning stop so much that I find myself pulling in on the way home.

Biggby you have won me over...So long Starbucks!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

245/365 Bike Babe

245/365 Bike Babe
Originally uploaded by rara*avis
BIKE BABE -- name given by author not me...don't want to get in trouble ya'know? I do love the expression of passion for BIGGBY and biking :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just when you think you've seen it all :)

Yep, that's right I was taken aback again! I've been serenaded, choired, and secret handshaked...but now for the first time....a real CHEERLEADER cheer! Wahooo! Now these guys told me that they are a little rusty...but I couldn't tell!

Thanks again Mission Street BIGGBY...I had a great time !!!

Go Chippewas! Go Mt. Pleasant! :)

BIGGBY Cow Girls....Grand Rapids Yippee-Yi-Aaaay!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thanks Lansing Fire Department! :)

JUst too cute...But I love it :)

This photo was submitted by Jill who said ....

I love BIGGBY coffee and visit the store frequently...too frequently, I must admit! What can I say, quality coffee is a weakness of mine. :O)

Take care,

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Hijinks at Store 279 Training...

This is Stephanie "Guffie" McGuffie! She's always excited! She's really excited about her bucket of whipped cream! She's even more excited about the giant etching pattern she did on top of it! Aren't you excited too?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fully Alive

Yahoo!!! Just finished up the class with the new crew at our opening-on-Wednesday Mission St. Mt. Pleasant store (our second store in Mt. Pleasant--the takeover has begun!), and I am a live wire.

What a great group! So you know how much fun it is to visit one of our stores and interact with those bright, shiny, wonderful baristas, two or three at a time? Imagine spending four hours with 26 of them! Okay, so they're not fully fledged baristas yet--this is just day one of training, but they have all of the raw materials of our baristas: they are fun, energetic, enthusiastic, hard-working, and...inspirational.

This is going to be a great weekend.

Want to meet them? Come visit on Wednesday, August 19th for the Grand Opening--we're excited!!!

-JD, Director of Training and guest blogger

Pandemonium or PERColator Training?

You decide.

Regardless, you can't say that it's a boring class!

Go ahead and take a guess on what it is that they're learning!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

As Promised...

As mentioned in my post last night, here's a quick peek into the BIGGBY COFFEE Training Center, as well as the comments Jim shared with us about how, for him, it's more than just the coffee. Enjoy! -JD, Director of Training and guest blogger

I submitted the customer survey you sent yesterday but wanted to take an extra minute or so to add my personal congratulations for the job you’ve done in pulling together and maintaining an outstanding staff and coffee shop in the Brookfield shopping center on East Grand River in East Lansing.

I stop in there daily for my double espresso on my way back to the office after lunch. I’m always greeted with a smile and a Hi, Jim and, as I reach for my money and BIGGBY card, there’s my double – often before I’ve even ordered it.

I’m always made to feel welcome, known, and appreciated by Dave, Jennifer, the rest of the regular crew and, within a day or two, even by those new smiling faces that pop up from time to time.

I don’t have to go there for that coffee. I have a perfectly good Swiss-made espresso machine at home that reliably produces a rich creamy brew with that wonderful crema within five minutes of deciding I’d like one. And even with those daily stops at the Brookfield BIGGBY, I still call on it to do that for me from six to a dozen times a week.

But you know, that machine couldn’t care less if I turn it on or not. It doesn’t know my name, it doesn’t smile, it doesn’t want to know how my day’s going or what I’m involved in this week. It doesn’t play great blues in the background. It doesn’t offer other people studying, talking, laughing, meeting, or just watching the world go by. Sure it gives me a great cup of coffee.

But Brookfield BIGGBY gives me something to look forward to – such a nice break in the day – a little order in the midst of the chaos. I leave there feeling like I’ve had a nap and a shower and I’m ready to tackle the rest of the day.

My sincere thanks to you and especially to the great crew at Brookfield BIGGBY. What a breath of fresh air. What a gift!

Thank You!


Warning! If you suffer from motion sickness, you may want to take a dramamine before viewing the video--crazy, crazy camera work!

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's not just about the coffee...

"It's more than just the coffee we's the experience we provide." We steep (er, percolate?) our employees in this idea from the very beginning of training--that's the seventh sentence in the training manual, in fact.

But it's not compensating. We know our drinks are awesome. But it's just not as much fun if we're only keyed in to making the world's best coffee. If that was all there was to it, we'd just be BIGGBY Bots. Boring BIGGBY Bots. Bunches of boring BIGGBY Bots. Bunches of boring BIGGBY barista Bots. Bunches of boring BIGGBY Barista Bots belting Badly Drawn Boy's ballads.

My wife just told me I took that one too far. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

Anyway, it's fun to take it beyond the coffee. That's what I looked forward to back in my barista days--talking to the customers--regulars or first-time visitors, didn't matter, learning and laughing all the way through each shift.

And it's gotta' be the same way for our customers, right? We hear from them all the time via our B-Heard page on our website, where nearly every compliment mentions some variation of great service, fun staff, and so on, and then "oh yeah, love the coffee too."

We actually have an entire hallway decorated with these comments! I'll post a video of the hallway, and a micro-tour of the Training Center tomorrow evening, along with a customer comment that I received 5 years ago that I have used in almost every class I've taught since. It's from a great guy named Jim, a long-time regular customer at one of our East Lansing stores, someone who really knows his espresso, and someone who really "gets" what BIGGBY is all about.

Until then...
-JD, Director of Training and guest blogger.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Left Coast Learnings

My wife and I just returned home after a week in Portland, OR, visiting her sister, marking my first time to the West Coast. Learnings:

1) It's Oar-uh-gun, not Oar-uh-GAHN. Thankfully got the tip on that from a friend juuuuuust before heading out there.
2) Mountains look awesome--up close and far away.
3) Even though, at home, it stinks to have to stay up all hours to finish west coast games and award shows, getting a 3-hour-late-start on the East Coast every day is way worse.
4) The kilt is a big deal in Portland--spotted six different men all kilted up, and all different styles of kilt. The award, however, goes to the gentleman on the boardwalk, wearing a kilt, playing the bagpipes (naturally), and riding a unicycle (not so naturally).

Can we take a quick moment to imagine that gentleman, two hours earlier, at the corner coffee shop? Here goes:

Barista: There you go--your piccolo americano.
Kilt Guy: Great, thanks! Off to work!
Barista: Oh yeah? Where do you work?
Kilt Guy: I play the bagpipes on the boardwalk while riding a unicycle.
Barista: Does that come with Dental?
Kilt Guy: ...
Barista: Well, have a good shift!
Kilt Guy: Will do.
2nd Kilt Guy: Is my cappuccino ready yet?

Back to the Learnings:

5) Streetcars are very, very cool but surprisingly, despite how many coffee shops there are in that part of the country, they don't come with cup oversight, I think.
6) There are lots of coffee shops, but there is nothing, at all, remotely, like BIGGBY out there.

It's good to be home.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Introducing the Director of Dogma

If you have followed BIGGBY Bob on this blog for a while now, you will remember the many barista interviews where Bob asked the barista "What is the BIGGBY Way?" The baristas would usually quote either our Mission Statement or our Operating Philosophy and Bob would wave it off saying, "not that corporate dogma stuff."

I, on the other hand, put a little imaginary sticker up on the metaphorical gold star board. I LOVE that our staff members can rattle this stuff off reflexively because it's the backbone of our training program.

I've been with the company now for nine years, having somewhat stumbled into the part-time position as a barista after being unable to get hired as a server or bartender at area restaurants. I remember, very distinctly, that first day of training at the store--the trainer, Melissa, invited us (there was one other trainee) to get a drink, and then we adjourned to the patio and turned to page 1 of the training manual. And we read PERC, an acronym for our operating philosophy.

And my perspective on the retail world changed forever. PERC gives our baristas structure for the "how" and "why" of "what" we do. It outlines a set of rules that, if followed, will absolutely deliver the best retail experience in the world for our customers. I read those four lines about respecting the customers' time, making them feel special, giving them a perfectly made drink every time they visit, and making sure that they always leave the store in a better mood and it resonated with me.

BIGGBY is different. However you articulate it, and there are many different ways(read the posts between 7/27 and 8/5 for examples), a lot of it is grounded in those four little letters and what they mean to BIGGBY baristas. It gives us permission to spend our time behind the counter making people happy, oh, and making coffee--that too.

So nine years later I'm the guy responsible for pushing the "dogma" within BIGGBY community as Director of Training, and I could not be happier in, or more proud of, that job.

I'm looking forward to the next week or so of guest blogging--it's a great opportunity for me to share a slightly different perspective than Bob does on that same amazing BIGGBY World. Thanks. -JD

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Take it away Dr. J !

I'll be outta commission for a week while I get a dose of sea salt!

While I am gone Jeremy D. -- Trainer Extraordinaire, BIGGBY Aficionado, and Trusted Opinion will be blogging on my behalf.

You will find whatever he writes enjoyable, fun, and thoughtful.

See you on the flipside :)

Tim ... (aka) (aka) Apple-Guru (aka) BIGGBY barista

Tim wants BIGGBY to have an 'in house' bottomless cup-o-coffee...

He makes his case!

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The BIGGBY way trumps all....thanks for the POST Catherine!

I just wanted to write and let you know that on July 29th, I stopped in to Biggby to redeem my free birthday drink coupon. I was having a bad day and didn't have that great of a birthday. I placed my order with drive-thru employee and when I pulled around, he immediately wished me, "Happy Birthday" and asked how my birthday was. I told him the truth and he proceeded to ask about the prior day (my birthday) and the current. I thought it was sweet of him to do so. I'm writing because I wanted to you to know that the extra 2 minutes your employee took to actually inquire about how I was doing made a difference on my outlook for the rest of the day. Sometimes all it takes is someone to ask. Not to mention that the drink I ordered was delicious. Kudos to your company and your employees. Keep up the great work!

You can B-Heard @ on the hotline