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Never Lose the Human Aspect…It's Why We Do Coffee

October 19, 2017

Wendy’s, McDonalds, Taco Bell…Love them!  Super-fast, super cheap and the food will always stay the same.  Score!  When you drive through those fast food places, you get what you expect.  Cheaper foods, sometimes order may not be right, and those employee’s will most likely not care if you have a food allergy.  You probably will not get eye to eye contact, and for sure you will not get an employee who will remember exactly how you like your fries.  Its ok, it’s the expectation and no one is getting hurt…right?  That is totally up to you and your definition of customer service. 

 

Coming from big corporation, this attitude left a sour taste in the WVE’s founder’s mouths.  When we decided to get into coffee, we vowed that we would take our company to a whole different level. 

 

Wicked Voodoo founders decided that there is enough boxed sterility in this world, that we would provide so much more than the amazing coffees, drinks and foods that we now serve.  When we went looking for our baristas, we took them through a pretty intense journey.  We needed real life people who would give our customers the one on one personalized service that they deserved and decided to throw away the resume’s and really focus on characteristics of the applicants in front of us. 

 

"I can tell you, these interviews can make you squirm," Renee (Manager at WVE) says.  “We are asking personal thought provoking questions. We make sure the applicant knows that there are no right or wrong answers, that we are just looking at how you line up with WVE Core Values," she says. 

 

All applicants are handed a copy of the core values and then explained what these five points mean to us as a company.  The interview questions are then based off these core values and what they could mean to the potential team member.  I personally have learned new meaning to these values by talking with the applicants.  We believe that every new member brings a fresh dynamic to the company, so every opinion is listened to with deep consideration. 

When you see Wicked’s Core Values on the side of the drive through, you know we are not messing around!  We are so driven by these values, that we ask you - the customer - to hold us to them. 

 

Wicked Voodoo Espresso Core Values:

 

  • BE THE BEST!  We will always achieve the best by using the highest quality ingredients and ensuring consistency in our product with highly trained Baristas.

 

This means, as a barista, your training is number one to us.  Training our staff to make the best consistently and delicious EVERY TIME benefits the customer, the barista and the company.  Making friends with your customers and always ensuring they are happy when they leave is everyone’s goal.

 

We will see to it that you are equipped with the correct tools and ingredients to ensure your success at being the best.             

                                                                   

  • FANATICAL CUSTOMER SERVICE! Everything we do ensures the customer is our focus; giving all an uplifting and satisfying experience EVERY TIME! 

Merriam Webster defines Fanatic as: “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion."  This is exactly what our customer deserves!  What does this mean to you?

 

Treat our customers as you would a guest in your home.  Welcome them, ask them how they are, ask them if what you can bring them.  Ask them if it tastes ok and if not, what would make it better….then, make it better! 

 

If you see the shot or the presentation isn’t perfect, apologize and remake!  You want them to see that you care.  Just like your guest! 

 

Always, always thank them for coming to see you, and ask them to come again.  Not Thanks, see ya, or "buh bye".  But thank you, please come back to see us, and always wish their day well! 

 

  • FULFILLMENT: We will achieve this by our commitment to our employee’s work/life balance, nurturing the artisan spirit and treating our co-workers like family.

This may not be your career choice now, but this job will value your creativity, nourish your willingness to learn and teach you life-long skills.  In the NW where coffee is vital to 80% of the residence lives, we have seen Barista’s turn their passions into life-long careers!  The financial benefits are very rewarding for a well-trained Barista! 

 

We welcome and rely on you to experiment, create and advise on new drinks, new methods of productivity and management.  We would love to see you advance and seek further training when you are ready!  Perhaps even compete someday!  The possibilities are endless, and we are here to support you! 

 

We are a family here, and everyone deserves the respect and caring that we would love to receive from others.  Remember, you will be in a confined space, working very closely for hours.  You will need to develop trust, respect and comradeship with this person for you both to be successful.  Practice compassion, kindness and respect always. 

 

Work life balance is key to keeping happy in any job/career.  We are happy to work with you and your family on scheduling to ensure that you can be rested and ready for your next shift!  Remember, we work to live, not live to work!

 

  • HAVE FUN! We will keep an upbeat, positive and laughing atmosphere!

If we must work…let’s enjoy it! Trust me, there will be times when the customers are stacked up and all needing their daily dose!  They may even be irritated at having to wait for their drinks.  The best thing they can see all day is your smiling face and your warm welcome. 

If you’re stressed and frazzled, it will be seen in your face.  So, focus on having fun.  This may be as simple as your favorite upbeat music playing, dancing, or waving at the customers as they wait for their drinks.  Smiles are contagious, your joy is contagious and your smile is "Raising their Spirits!”  Pun intended. 

 

If you just can’t pull yourself out of the funk while working directly with the customers, change places with your partner and watch them as you pull the excellent shots and create your magical potions!  We are here to support each other and our customers!  Sometimes just stepping back and observing the joy that you are serving is the pick me up you need.  You are Magic!

 

  • CONTINUOUS COMPANY IMPROVEMENT: We will achieve this through always teaching, learning, growing and holding ourselves accountable for ALL results! 

WVE vision is not to be a small company.  In fact, we see adding more and more stands throughout the US and developing our own roasting company!  The vision is to add benefits, advancements, travel, scholarships, sponsorships in Barista competitions, amazing salaries and long-term future employment for all.  This will only be achieved with your help!  Employees are the key to any company’s success!  We just take it a whole lot more seriously than most. 

By continuous training of the Barista’s we can not only add to your repertoire but also build our company strong!  The more you learn about the business, and your art, the more willing you will be to move up the ladder! 

 

Teaching is an art.  It requires patience, respect and skill.  This is not only challenging for the teacher, but also for the student.  We must all be focused on both the teaching and the learning aspect of your position.  Be willing to be the teacher and the student.  Daily we will learn together. 

 

Growing together as a company means staying focused on our values and not being afraid to speak up to make things better.  Your voice is valued and we love suggestions.  Again, our goal is to GROW!  Make changes, and be better…DAILY!

 

Holding ourselves accountable! If you make a mistake, lets correct it! This is key to grow! Make sure you understand what happened if a mistake is made. Teach and tell others so we may all learn from it! Write it down!

 

How does this makes a difference to everyone?  Well, let me tell you.  Our team members are viewed as friends, family and mentors.  Each one brings a new facet to our company and are valued to a degree that we all swarm in when one needs help or advice.  There is a caring that occurs when the human spirit is nurtured and valued and this is what we strive to do!  This theory will then trickle down to our beloved customers.  When they feel the value that our baristas have, they sense they are in good caring hands.  We look them in the eyes, we smile, cry and joke right along with them.  We know what they drink, their children’s names, their dog’s names and most importantly what they mean to us.  I can’t say its 100% YET…but it is in our sense of pride that we strive to get to know each one of them as individuals. 

 

In a world full of fast pace, instant gratification and detached servers, isn’t it nice to really be a part of a new movement called "Fanatical Customer Service".  I know when I go into a retail establishment, I am so saddened to be treated like a number and because of this, we vowed that we would not do this to our valued clients. 

 

Our clients are not anxious if they wait in line for their specialized gourmet drinks because they know that they will be heard and their experience with us has a very high potential of being a great one.  Our baristas are highly skilled and have all taken extensive training on how to pull the correct shots and how to put a perfect drink together.  Our valued clients know that they can ask questions about their drink and our team will know the answers or will be on the phone finding out while the customer is standing there.  The patrons behind that customer are OK with the added wait, because they are also awarded with the same specialized treatment when it’s their turn.  It is never in our plan to lose customers, but when asked why we are not fast, or why we don’t cut corners to herd folks through the line quicker, we smile and let them know where the "other guys" reside. 😊

 

I am not saying that the other places don’t have a very real role in my life.  There are certainly sometimes when I am in a huge rush, am famished and know that I can get through that line with nothing more than a sugar soaked smoothie to wet my whistle!  Do I really enjoy it?  Probably not…probably it just filled an urgent need of nourishment or sugar without getting out of the car.  The wait time was nonexistent because everything had already been prepared and my order was an assembly line.  Value added?  Most assuredly!  But, that is not Wicked Voodoo, nor will it ever be. 

 

We at Wicked, want to turn back the clock a bit and remember the human factor of business.  Our values support a larger mission of humanity that spreads throughout the world through the Fair-Trade coffees we bring in for our customers.  It must begin at home and branch out to every hand that touches our coffee beans.  We believe this, we have passion for this, and that is our vision for all that cross our thresholds.   

 

We don’t strive to compete with the "fast food", we want to bring back the warmth of friendship and hospitality to a fast paced, ever needing more world.  We would love to meet you and maybe, just maybe put a smile on your face and some amazing drinks in your belly….you up for a bit of humanity? 

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