Let me tell you about that time I worked at a coffee shop. Back in December I was hired at The Hoof Café in Locus Point, Maryland. I was looking for hands on training while being paid for it. I applied on indeed and they owners reached out to me a few days later. I interviewed with one owner and to be honest that right there should have been a red flag.
When I pulled up the coffee shop was closed. I go back to my email where we scheduled the interview and I realized that they never gave me a phone number. So, I waited a few minutes to see if someone comes. After about 7 minutes the owner appears out the door. When I got in and sat down the owner was nice. He informed me that this was his first-time doing interviews. He informed me that the other two owners normally do the interview and the day to day operations. While we interviewed, I notice that the tension between the owners and the manager in the language that was being used. It appeared that he didn’t agree with the other owner choices but since it was 2 against 1 he didn’t have much say. I also believe that he trusted the manager more than the other owners. I thought to myself “oh they have some drama going on, but I am trying to learn the coffee business and make some extra money”. So, I am going mind my business and get what I came for.
At the end of the interview the owner wanted to hire me. We talked about opening in the evening because they café was missing out to money due to closing early. So, a week goes by and I don’t hear anything. I reach out and the other two owners state they want to interview me also, but they didn’t know when they would be back in town. After a few days go by the manager reach out to me to meet with her. That went well and she was nice. I receive a email with the login for the company time card system. No one said you are hired or anything. then I receive a email from the manager asking if I could come in for a few hours later that week. the communication from the owner to the staff wasn’t good.
So, I went in for my first day of work. I come in and it’s just me and the manager. She is showing me around and telling what is going on in the store. She has told me that the grinder isn’t working, and they are out of all this stuff. The grinder not working at a coffee shop is like the grease not working at McDonalds. They were out of 2% milk, so they were adding water to whole milk. SMH I feel like if you don’t have something tell the customers. While the day is going on the owners from out of town text the manager and say to close at 1 instead of 2 with no explanation. That is poor customer service to shut the business down with customer in the store. But when trying to manage a business from out of state without communicating with the staff that’s the kind of stuff that happen. As a business you can’t pick and choose when you open and close. Not only does it effect your customers it effects the staff financially. One of customer said this is bad for business that your sign says you closed at one time and then just change their mind.
My first day was actually pretty good and I learned a lot. The manager was very knowledgeable. She allowed me to make drinks and practice so that I could learn for when I am alone. She also created a good handbook to help new barista that was so simple. So, at the end cleaned up and went home and I was scheduled to come back in on Sunday at 6 am.
I get up at 5:15 on a Sunday to get to work on time. When I get there, I am waiting around in my car, and the manager is not there. I wait to for about 20 minutes to see if she comes, once again I have no one’s phone number to call. I send an email and leave and go home. About an hour later I receive an email from the manager stating that the owner decided to shut the company down Saturday at 6pm and they were supposed to email me so that I don’t come in. To this day I have never heard from the owners at The Hoof. They never paid me for that day of work either. I reached out and they never responded.
I learn that when running a small business your communication with your staff is important. Having a strong manager that you trust if you are not there to handle the day to day operation is a must. If you close within a days of hiring people you should have seen this coming month in advance. Being out supplies having broken equipment slows down your business and stops your money. Running a small business is hard but you will have to handle your business because it doesn’t only effect you.