If I were to establish my own coffee company, it would be a nonprofit organization focused on bringing the long-term unemployed back into the workforce. The current business climate takes otherwise capable workers and turns them into pariahs the moment a certain amount of time passes since the last time they held a steady job. This distinction is impossible to overcome because, for every long-term unemployed individual, there are numerous people who are just entering the job market. What’s left for the people who have worked endlessly to find another job? Peanuts. They get peanuts. That’s not a way to live.
Coffee shops have difficulties rising to the top of the pack. If they’re not Starbucks, they might as well never open their doors. A coffee shop that’s worth anything needs to have integrity above all else. At the end of the day, corporate locations bring little to the table other than the same formulaic swill that’s optimized to maximize the return on investment for the corporation, not the enjoyment of the customer. We go to these locations because they’re convenient, not because they offer a good cup of coffee. We would rather go to a place that’s near than seek out something that makes a quality product.
My coffee company would operate under the model of giving customers the best product possible while reinforcing the philanthropic model I previously mentioned. Quality over profits needs to be a model to which every company in every industry should return. Staying in business is one thing. Sacrificing everything you stand for to keep your doors open is something else entirely. A balance has to be struck that’s not being struck at any business of which I’m aware. Churning out product is difficult if you’re doing so with quality ingredients, so there’s no reason to keep up such a frantic pace.
I’m tired of walking through the doors of businesses where I can tell how little the people working there care about me. “Customer service” has nothing to do with the actual customer. It’s an advertising slogan that every company adopts to create the belief that they care about their customers or the people who work for them. A company can’t practice genuine customer service. The cost of taking care of people is too much for companies to handle. They do enough to keep their customers happy enough to continue walking through the door.