Comedian Jim Gaffigan created, wrote, and produced The Jim Gaffigan show for two seasons on TV Land. The show is a fictionalized version of himself and his wife raising kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York. I had never heard of the show until Mike shared a clip of the show with me that shows Jim having difficulty while ordering a red-eye from Mindy, the barista.
The clip is so incredibly funny it had me rolling for days. We mimic Mindy’s mannerisms and speech all the time. The actress who played Mindy, Keilly McQuaill, did a fantastic job with the small amount of dialogue she was given. It’s clearly a skit and shouldn’t be overanalyzed, but I’m going to do just that and fix Mindy’s problems for her just the same.
Mindy is right. Mindy is right about the main premise, though. You have to pick what you want to be “about.” In coffee or any other industry, making a choice about who you are means you will undoubtedly alienate some portion of your potential customer base. That’s okay. You don’t do red-eyes? That’s fine. You don’t have sugar? Cool with me, too. When sugar-cravers realize it, they won’t come back to your shop. When sugar-refusers realize it, they will. You can never be all things to all people, and the customer is not always right. The book Anything You Want by Derek Sivers has this theme woven throughout and I recommend that read highly.
Mindy had the tools to make it right. This is actually the first thought that went through my mind. I was like: “Mindy, just make a pour over and add a shot of espresso of the same beans to it.” This sounds simple, but most coffee shops can’t do it. The reason is most espressos are blends, and very few cafes serve a single origin espresso. Even specialty coffee shops that have pour-overs will not frequently offer a single origin espresso. Those that do could easily accommodate Jim’s request by rocking a pour over and an espresso shot of the same single origin bean. Even if it’s organic from the Peruvian rainforest.
Cartel, in Scottsdale, Arizona is one such shop. They have a single origin espresso and you could get a pour over from the same beans. It’s perfect. You can get an espresso-based drink or just plain shots of single origin espresso. If you have more than one group on your espresso machine, why not dial in a single origin and then a blend as well? Or, why not have a second espresso machine? One for single origin and one for a blend?
Cat and Cloud have a dedicated espresso group they use for on-demand single serving brewing. It’s an incredible idea that they made work for themselves. Thinking outside the box, they are able to accomplish great things for their customers. Mindy could’ve done the same.
Mindy didn’t want to make it right. This is where the rubber meets the road, and Cat and Cloud talk a lot about this topic. So does Derek Siver. Mindy really didn’t want to go above and beyond the call of duty for the customer. I get this same attitude in many of the coffee shops I visit. The barista is just not excited to blow you away with an incredible ‘wow’ experience. That’s the problem. The solution is really only to want to make the customer happy. When you want that, you’ll find a way to do it.