I'm opening in November and want to make sure my employees know exactly what is expected of them from the first day we open. Do any owners/managers have an employee handbook that they use/trust? Not sure I would be able to cover everything I need to and want to see what else people are using. Thanks!

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For me it's best to communicate with each in a sit down discussion. You'll never be able to go over every detail, so you let them know the basics. For me it's:
1. Quality over quantity. This is my business, every thing you do has to be the best, as if you were serving me. If not, scrap it and do it over. ALways the best.

2. customer is always right. I learned from working in service for many years that this is not always true. There are times we know the customer is dead wrong. So I tell my people, the customer is right 95% of the time. That 5% when we know we are right and they are wrong, we still must let them be right. It will diffuse any situation and let them feel better. We are not in the business of proving who is right or wrong, but making people happy. This allows the employees to feel good knowing they can be in the right and just be the bigger person in giving in to the customer. For me it's a win-win

3. Cleanliness is godliness. Never allow the place to be dirty or messy. Always assume a health inspector is watching.

4. Speak up. If you see something or feel something is not right, or see something that can be improved, it is their responsibility to come to me and say it. I am not hiring robots; I expect them to take part in this business to keep making it better.

5. Have fun, but let the customers share in on that fun. I want a fun work place where people are happy. But too often I visit places where the employees seem to like their job with no concern for the customer (Blaring death metal music that they like, but obviously no one else there does). Employees and customers are equals, we all should have fun.

Manuals are more for following laws etc to cover your ass. Have them sign off and be done with them. Don't rely on them to train people.
Great points, Mark. I'm in the process of working on my employee manuals as well. This was a great starting point.

I have divided this process into 4 parts: operation, tecnique, sales and brand.

The operation means the way the baristas should conduct themselves in and around your business the way you want to, the tecnique is in fact being a good barista, having the skills to perform to perfection the art of making coffee (good espresso, great milk foam, latte art just to name a few).

Sales would be the service the baristas gives to costumers. How to handle objections and be a better salespersons. Because a barista is a seller of good coffee and listens to the needs of the costumer.

And last but most important, your brand, the concept of your coffee shop, they have to live it and feel proud to belong to __________ (coffee shop name).

Looking for same info- Does anyone require that employees NOT work for another coffee shop while employed at yours?

please reply, Thanks!


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