This particular topic is probably a bit overdue. Some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive at the coffee shop deal with our hours of operation. Below you will find the two most popular questions that we field on a daily basis.
- Why aren't you guys open later?
- Why aren't you open on Sundays?
The majority of the jobs that my wife and I held in our younger years were service-industry jobs. These jobs were part-time service positions that paid minimum wage and held little, if any, prestige. Low level, low skill jobs that anyone could do with a little training. I personally have worked as a cart pusher, gas station attendant, pizza deliver driver, and line cook over the years. These may not be the most sought-after positions, but they are necessary and can be rather trying at times. When my wife and I decided to open a coffee shop, we wanted to use the cumulative knowledge from all of our past service-industry experiences to create a positive environment, not only for the customer, but for those that we employ as well. We feel that this has a direct relation to the quality of experience within our small piece of commercial real estate.
Lauren and I both come from a background of family owned businesses. Lauren's family owned The Music Room in Muncie since the early 1970s. My family has owned Reber Machine & Tool since the early 1940s. At a very young age, I was taught that good people are the most important and valuable resource that a company can have. Investing in your people is the same as investing in the company itself. Without the people, there is no company. Sounds pretty cheesy, right? Well, it's true. There is no way that Lauren and I would be able to do everything on our own and that is why we work so hard to surround ourselves with smart and talented individuals that all wish to do their part to make their community a better and more vibrant place. We see our employees more often than we see our own families, and in that respect, our employees become our family.
When we set out to open this coffee shop, we wanted it to be more than a typical high turnover fast-food operation consisting of a dozen or more part-time minimum wage workers. We wanted people to stick around for the long haul. We wanted to invest in community. We wanted to create a place where people could work full-time and not have to rely on multiple jobs to make ends meet. We wanted to create a place that allowed our employees to grow with us. I believe that we've accomplished that.
Being a barista is a very taxing job both mentally and physically. It may not seem that way to anyone looking in from the outside. This is because we put a lot of hard work into training the best baristas that we are able. To become a barista at The Caffeinery, you receive 40+ hours of coffee bar training. You must pass both a written and physical test before you able to claim the barista title.
We primarily seek out full-time employees. The majority of our staff works between 35-40 hours per week. We pay our employees 30% above the industry standard. We keep a small and dedicated full-time crew and make sure that everyone is taken care of.
So if everything is so great, why not expand hours? I mean, it seems logical at first glance... But let's take a closer look. Coffee sales drop significantly after 6PM during the weekdays. There are plenty of people that claim that they would visit, but the numbers aren't there to support the claim. Besides, after 6PM, it's time to go the other way (BEER TIME!). Furthermore, if we decided to add longer hours, we would have to hire more people and the additional hours would not be enough to make the job worthwhile. That would mean that we would have to cut hours of our current full-time employees to free up hours for some of the part-time help to justify their employ. Long story short, quality would begin to suffer and that's not an option.
As for Sundays... we all work extremely hard and deserve a day off. This also allows time for deep cleaning, maintenance and repairs, and time to roll out new and exciting things for the next week. It's also a time for us to spend time with friends and family.
Anyway, I hope all of this rambling makes sense. I'm going to try and stay more on top of this blogging thing... Be patient and cut me some slack. I haven't had time to blog in a while and am feeling a bit rusty.