How We Ace Your Order Every Time
We don’t play games when it comes to making your morning coffee. But we do use playing cards.
If you’ve ever ordered a drink at one of our coffee bars, you might have noticed the cashier thumbing through a small stack of playing cards and placing a particular one by the espresso machine as you check out.
So what is that about?
This is our drink queueing system at work. When we opened our first coffee bar in 2017, we were looking for ways to make our limited budget go further, and didn’t want to buy an additional iPad to be stationed at our espresso machine. Nevertheless, we had also personally experienced how quickly scribbled hand-written orders can disrupt the flow and result in errant drinks, redos, and general operational inefficiency.
So we brainstormed a solution, and we came up with an analog queuing system with playing cards as a tool. Here’s what we like about the system:
Playing cards are universal, and we're not dependent on an employee having time to print a new set when a few get spilled on. They’re ubiquitous – literally on the shelf at the gas station closest to our original location.
There's a wide, yet familiar, variety of options in a deck of cards: suits, colors, numbers, and face cards.
We’ve found that they’re a great conversation starter with customers. Patrons frequently ask our staff about the system, how it works, etc.
- It’s easily reproduced. All of our coffee bars follow the system, with no need for anyone to re-learn a new system or technology if they work at more than one location.
Check out the guide to become proficient in the system yourself. Maybe next time you’re in, you can order in code, like the cool kids ;)
“I’ll have a two of hearts, please.”