Last week I sat down with Ryan Maloney, the Director of Operations at Jimmy’s Coffee.
With over 18 years in coffee, Ryan has experience at the management level at Starbucks and recently moved onto Jimmy’s -- one of Toronto’s hippest multi-location, independent coffee shops!
This is the 2nd of a 4 part mini-series where we pick the brain of Ryan on all things cafe success-related...
The city has a huge population of die-hard coffee lovers, and attaining their loyalty seems to be no issue at Jimmy’s. So just how do they do it?..
1. Happy, Loyal Employees = Happy, Loyal Customers!
Employees who love working for your company are key to the success of any business, especially one that is rooted in customer relationships and friendly faces. The barista team at Jimmy’s is not only responsible for whipping up kick a** drinks -- they head up curating the music playlists, design and draw chalkboard signage, are free to dress as they wish (within some minimal guidelines), get involved in the social media, and are encouraged to be themselves. No wonder the vibes in any Jimmy’s location are so positive. At Jimmy’s, they believe in the power of genuine relationships, especially those that exist between the baristas and the customers. According to Ryan, it is not uncommon to hear the Jimmy’s regulars discussing intense details about their life with their trusted baristas as they wait for their morning brew! Customer and employee loyalty go hand in hand!
2. Staying True to Company Identity and Values, Through and Through
Growth and expansion as a cafe or quick service restaurant might mean expanding your menu offering, expanding your space, catering to a different or additional clientele, changing your branding, etc. These changes can be positive, and ideally lead to increased sales and revenue. However, it is key to maintain the loyalty of your existing customer base by staying true to company values. Ryan, is constantly asking himself key questions while planning growth and expansion-related moves. Does this decision fit within the Jimmy’s brand? Is it right for Jimmy’s? Who does this change cater to? Are we trying to be something we are not by going down this path? Having a clear and concise idea of what your business core values are, and staying true to those values is key to maintaining customer loyalty!
3. Branded Merchandise
Branded merchandise is fun! As I discussed in my last post, Top 3 Ways To Increase Spending in Your Coffee Shop, it creates an opportunity for customers to spend more at the till. It also generates brand loyalty in a big way. The existing loyal customers base feel an emotional connection to the Jimmy’s brand. They might love their barista, the comfortable feel of the cafe, the quality of the coffee, or all of the above! They would also therefore love to sip from their Jimmy’s mug while drinking coffee at home, or rep the Jimmy’s iconic yellow lid with the cute enamel pin perfect for their denim jacket! Branded merchandise circulating around the city can also serve to create new customers. “What is Jimmy’s Coffee? I have to give it a try, I keep seeing their name everywhere!”...
4. Appreciate Regular Customers Through Rewards
Having a rewards program is key to attracting, understanding the behaviour of, and showing appreciation for loyal customers. Not only does this help to increase customer expenditure and your revenue. A strong rewards program allows you to make your customers feel appreciated, as though they are getting the first-class treatment.