Within the realm of simple pleasures, one of Emmy’s favourites was a barista knowing her drink order before she spoke. She walked through the door of Costa on the Parade, armed with her laptop bag as usual, and as she reached the counter the server asked “ice or no ice today, madam?” This was in reference to the glass of tap water that always accompanied Emmy’s Americano. The coffee was already brewing; he had set it going when he saw her approaching.
I wonder, Emmy pondered as she settled at her favourite table, whether this guy knows that he lifts my spirits and my entire day on a frequent basis? By the humble act of remembering a regular’s drink, staff could make customers feel like they belonged. Emmy supposed it was one of the first lessons in successful coffee shop trading and this Costa team had it down to a tee. As she sat and typed away she was occasionally asked whether she would like more water – but never coffee, as this would have been too pushy and made her feel as though her welcome was outstayed. The usual suspects who frequented the coffee house at this time of day trickled in and out, enjoying the same treatment of being made to feel like they have arrived at the place more comforting and homely than their actual home.
Not being a particularly chatty individual Emmy did not stray further than stating her ice versus no ice preference and thanking the barista. In contrast to her rather introverted self, she observed others adopting a more forthcoming vibe and the staff took their cues from the customers, adjusting their level of banter accordingly. People clearly enjoyed coming to Costa for the friendly interaction as much as for the food and drink. A morning coffee session here was refreshment for the soul.
Once she had worked her way through a couple of lazy Americanos Emmy waved goodbye to the staff and smiled at her fellow happy customers – her 9am-11am weekday Costa family – and stepped onto the Parade, satisfied with another iteration of a staple Leamming routine.