Now Hiring

mcbone

New member
Apr 13, 2004
8
0
Nashville
Well I have lurked here for quite some time and have gained valuable information from all of your experiences that you were willing to share with newbies such as myself.

My wife and I fell in love with the coffee subculture that along with the Olympics, the sound and Cascades defined the Pacific Northwest for us and decided to bring a little bit of that experience back home to Tennessee. Our new shop opens in only three short weeks and we are totally pumped but are down to some hiring decisions and would appreciate some of your "long timers" sage advice.

We are both fully committed to our coffeehouse as a full time gig so we will start by hiring a handfull of part-timers to fill in the gaps. We've had a lot of interest however very few that actually have some experience. One of our stronger applicants currently works about 25-30hrs @ the Sbucks 2 miles down the road and is looking to us for hours in addition to his gig at the aforementioned Coffee Company. I believe his intent is solely honest and wants more hours but I can't help wondering what information about our operations would get back to our #1 competitor even if its through normal conversation. I have read about some very interesting tactics used by the big guys and wondered if it is worth hiring someone with his experience at the expense of what essentially has to be viewed as sharing information with Mr.Starbucks. Not that it matters but he holds no management role now.

Your thoughts?
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
Congrats on your opening. Hiring is always a subjective thing. If this is your first experience in this industry, it's very difficult to judge what talent and/or potiential is and how to hire it. I wouldn't be overly concerned that Starbucks would be sending a spy your way, they are too busy building. However, I would quiz this person on his knowledge during the interview to see if he would fit with your expectations. Starbucks trains people according to what they want and it may be difficult to break him of habbits that he's already learned, any eventually it may create more harm than good. But keep in mind, if your coffee roaster trained you well, then you should be able to train your personnel. I'd be interested to see how you are doing at the 6 month mark.

Again congrats on your opening!!! 8)
 
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mcbone

New member
Apr 13, 2004
8
0
Nashville
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Thanks Coffee Guy. Our sentiments are that although this guy does have experience we'd almost rather start from scratch with our new employees. You are exactly right about old habits dying hard and we are acutely aware of that.

Our roaster did a fantastic job preparing us for business as he was our consultant (above and beyond what is typically expected of a roaster) which cost us but was essential being new to the industry. We have spent a year of mind numbing research out in your part of the world, the internet and back here in the southeast. There is still a learning curve involved just not as steep :grin:

Realizing that nothing can substitute experience we're going to buckle up and hit the ground running. The Coffeehouse scene here is virtually nonexistent as I don't consider our corporate neighbor in that catagory. Coffee is so much MORE. There are a fair amount of independents here, some of which "get it" most of which have no idea. The quality is here and we have no fear competing. I too will be interested to see where we are at the 6 month mark.

Thank you for the insight.
 

janie1963

New member
Mar 8, 2004
65
0
I'm about a week from opening and I've hired 4 people, one of which replaced the former Starbucks employee I had hired. She seemed grest and said she fully understood that we would be retraining her and that we would be doing things differently. Well, when our training was scheduled she said she was too busy to attend, but not to worry because she already knew everything. She also said she was available for any and all shifts, then became too busy to return my calls. The problems with her did not come from having worked at Sbucks, but she did have the attitude that they knew all there was to know about coffee. So, I'd think twice...also think twice about hiring someone who wants to work another job-they never seem to have the time for both!

Good luck and remember that they will tell you one thing in an interview and once they have the job they change their tune.

Lee
 

spud

New member
Aug 5, 2004
2
0
Location in Nashville

Wondering where you are in Nashville. Have some friends that just moved there last week and one of them is looking for coffee shop work.

Thanks Spud
 

CoffeJohn

New member
Sep 1, 2004
2
0
Belfair, WA
In my previous years of restaurant management, it was always emphasized (and it it true!) HIRE PERSONALITY, NOT EXPERIENCE.

I would rather hire a friendly, personable person I can train (my way) than an unfriendly, "God's gift to espresso" person.
 
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