The Coffee Experience
Chapter 2: The Initial Approach
One common theme of the Branch Street Method™ is attention to detail. If all of the details are not considered it can be difficult, if not impossible, to form a cohesive experience. Every stage of this experience is made up of these elements, and with careful planning these parts help to make up the whole.
Now that a potentiail customer has seen the inviting and interesting sign, they will begin to make the entrance to the parking lot.
When pulling in to the parking area, we want the guest to feel invited and welcome. There are several things that are not within our direct control, such as quality of the parking lot, or ease of entrance and exit, and the size of the parking lot itself. Usually these are not something that can be changed by shop owners. The main factor that is still under our complete control is where we park to ensure the easiest access for those visiting the store.
We insist that our workers park as far away from the store as possible, ensuring that our customers can get to the store with ease and simplicity. There have been many places we have come across where this is not the case, and workers can be seen leaving their shifts and getting into their car parked right outside the door. Would you as a customer want to have to traverse a parking lot in the snow, rain or summer heat, or would you instead hit up the nearest drive-thru for convenience?
While some things such as parking lot maintenance are outside of a store owners control, there are a few ways to make sure you avoid unnecessary stress for your customers. Make sure to be careful to choose a building whose owner is as concerned with the design and aesthetics of the plaza as you are.
Each year in our building the owner has the sidewalks professionally power washed, and the parking lot was just seal coated and re-painted. This ensures that the building looks state of the art, and it helps to build a respectable appearance for shop owners as well. Think of how difficult it would be to pull in to a parking lot that is full of potholes, or one that has lines so faded you don’t know where the parking spots are.
These items may seem like minute details, but those details all add up to an end-user experience. Sure, the coffee may be great, but if the parking area is full of potholes, you can’t tell where the lines are, and you have to park halfway across the lot because all of the other spots are taken, maybe that sub-par drive-thru coffee would suddenly seem more appealing.