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How Should You Feel at a Kaldi's Coffee Cafe?

You belong at a Kaldi’s Coffee cafe. But what does belonging at our cafes mean?  What do we hope to make you feel when you first walk in, when you receive your latte or cappuccino, or when you finally get up to go? Here, we'll talk about our hospitality philosophy and how we want you to feel when enjoying your time at a Kaldi's Coffee cafe. 

QUALITY COFFEE MEANS QUALITY SERVICE

Your Kaldi’s Coffee cafe experience is the last part of the specialty coffee chain, and the best way we can represent the hard work of our producer partners. The best beverages and foods will fall flat if served poorly, whether from inadequate technique or mediocre service. Our guests deserve to experience our specialty coffees, the literal fruits of our producer-partners’ labors thousands of miles away, paired with exceptional service and a welcoming environment.

Kaldi's Coffee Crescent Cafe, Behind the Bar

The “guest points of contact” (GPC) system is a tool that Kaldi’s Coffee utilizes in day to day operations at each cafe. Every team member, whether front of house taking orders and slinging ‘spro, or back of house crafting sandwiches and salads, is familiar with this metric and its importance to our guests’ experiences. 

From the moment a guest walks in, the GPC method guides team members to greet newcomers and make them feel welcome and noticed. Order input, hand off, fulfillment, and follow-up are all done with the goal of ensuring no one feels stranded or confused, and that your order meets your expectations. Our relationship with our guests is more than just transactional; we want your entire experience in our cafes to be inviting and comfortable.

Our relationship with our guests is more than just transactional; we want your entire experience in our cafes to be inviting and comfortable.

COMFORT & COMMUNICATION

Our cafes are your home away from home, and we want you to feel that every moment you’re with us. The Kaldi’s Coffee cafe experience begins with design and buildout. Each of our St. Louis coffee shops have a unique ambience, as do our cafes in Atlanta, Columbia, and Kansas City. In some cafes, comfy booths offer a sense of intimacy for a group of friends, while in others, a sleek countertop gives you the chance to better interact with your barista. Small tables, armchairs, and patios at some of our coffee shops are perfectly suited to breaking out the books or catching some sun.

Inside Kaldi's Coffe DeMun cafe | Espresso Machine, Food Menu, and helpful baristas!

At a Kaldi’s Coffee cafe, your experience as our guest is paramount. While we aim for a perfect experience every time, we also believe mistakes and mishaps are just opportunities to better serve you and let you know that no matter what, we care about your experience first and foremost. Continual improvement has always been a Kaldi’s Coffee core value, and that means listening to our guests. We want you to always feel seen and heard, and happy to return for a personal favorite, or to try something new. 

Our retail operations director, Keith, explains that there’s no such thing as a wrong question or request from a guest, and our team is here to help you get the most out of your Kaldi’s Coffee cafe experience. Because your perfect mocha or your heavenly avocado toast begins not just with the right ingredients, but with our commitment to the positive experiences of our guests. And that is rooted in communication, and a desire to find the perfect item or customization that works for you.

TRAINING FOR GREATNESS

Designing a cafe for maximum vibes is one thing; keeping it running smoothly is quite another! Coordinating all the moving parts of a cafe while emphasizing guest service is at the heart of our hospitality philosophy: making guests feel at home, and delivering a cafe experience they’ll want to return to time and again.

The heart of our hospitality philosophy: making guests feel at home, and delivering a cafe experience they’ll want to return to time and again.

Team member training is essential to the Kaldi’s Coffee cafe experience. We teach our team members to pay close attention to guests’ needs. Training isn’t about memorizing facts and figures, but empowering and encouraging the individual to better serve the guests, particularly in challenging situations. 

“It starts at the top,” says Tricia, co-owner of Kaldi’s Coffee. “People respect what we inspect.” Kaldi’s Coffee Leadership will routinely tour each coffee shop and evaluate them on various aspects of the ideal experience: cleanliness, product quality, guest interaction and satisfaction. These inspections aren’t aimed to criticize, but to teach and share ideas. That’s why they’re often paired with early weekend shifts where Leadership will help out in the cafes, working alongside team members. 

Additionally, Kaldi’s Coffee cafes will break down the many hospitality goals, including the guest points of contact, into bite-size nuggets that can be better emphasized over the course of a day or a week. These are written as a “Daily Lineup”, our co-owner Tricia explains: “How do we communicate and execute these three focus areas for the week?” 

BECAUSE YOU’RE WORTH IT

We don’t just source and roast delicious, word-class specialty coffees. We serve these specialty coffees to you, our honored guests. From the moment we gratefully welcome you to a cafe for the first or fifteenth time, to when we hand you your freshly-made drink with a sincere wish that you enjoy it, we are creating your Kaldi’s Coffee experience. Our coffee wouldn’t be as delicious, as warming and energizing, without that level of care and attention in each of our coffee shops.

From the moment we gratefully welcome you to a cafe for the first or fifteenth time, to when we hand you your freshly-made drink with a sincere wish that you enjoy it, we are creating your Kaldi’s Coffee experience.

Inside of the Kaldi's Coffee at the ESC cafe, Atlanta, GA

With the restrictions throughout the hospitality industry due to COVID-19, some of our practices have had to evolve, and are still evolving. It’s been challenging to remember that our masks prevent our smiles from being seen by you, and it can be harder to speak clearly to explain a menu item or a new coffee rollout. But we won’t let that stop us from serving you specialty coffee and quality breakfast, lunch, and bakery items. To adjust, we’ve adopted online ordering through the Toast app, incorporated contactless curbside pickup, and are always planning ahead to do even better. 

In the end, creating new, sustainable ways to serve you is at the heart of what we do, in these unpredictable times and beyond. We are dedicated to serving you great coffee, food, and drinks -- it’s why we exist, and what motivates us to always be better, just like the beverage that we are so fortunate to serve.

The next time we are fortunate enough to serve you, know that we have been planning for your visit for 26 years. And even when you leave, remember that we are planning for your next visit to be even better. 

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READ NEXT:

HOW TO DESIGN A KALDI'S COFFEE

How to Design a Kaldi's Coffee Cafe | Kaldi's Coffee Blog

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