People are Talent | Starbucks vs. Kaffeehaus

Compare a waiter in a coffee shop in Vienna, with one of the young girls behind the counter in Starbucks.  Do you see the difference?  Starbucks works because these girls have a clear process description that they have to follow.  She needs maybe a day or two to learn her job.  A waiter in a “Kaffeehaus” in Vienna is a kind of an institution.  They execute an art.  You might not notice this when you are in Vienna for the first time. I was very upset, but if you take some effort to understand this, you will start to learn to enjoy it.  You will see the professionalism of the waiter in the Kaffeehaus.

The girl gets a low wage and most of the time it is not enough to lifve on, but why should the coffee chain pay more?  They use these people like trained monkeys.  And again, they use the same way of creating work like car manufacturers do. One is responsible for taking the order, one for manipulating the coffee machine and one for cleaning the room.

If you go to a Kaffeehaus you enjoy talking to the waiter. Having a small chat with him. You buy the whole atmosphere and if he is good, then he will know you want another coffee before even you youself know it.

There will be a need for more and more service jobs in our society.  Such jobs cannot be out-sourced. And – no it does not work to put a machine behind the counter.  Maybe someday it will be an android. The danger is that we will have this factory kind of service over and over again.  And then only the brand will help you decide if you go to Starbucks or to Coffee X.

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