We’ve been on the receiving end of some really interesting feedback for us recently. When we couldn’t make an event that we did last year, an alternative coffee supplier was found. We were obviously concerned about the fact that we may lose our relationship with the venue and this was a chance for a new supplier to make their mark. So, a week or so later when we attended another event with the same venue, we were interested to hear how they got on.
Since then we’ve been pretty surprised to hear lots of feedback on the other coffee supplier – not only from the venue but from customers and other traders. It seems everybody at the event became aware that the people waiting for coffee were not a happy bunch. The queue were very long, and the production was slow which meant it took a long time for anyone to get served. Quality is a difficult aspect to get right, because making a good coffee does come with some love and affection, however once you’re experienced you can be consistent with quality whilst making coffees quickly. And if you have enough hands on deck – someone serving customers and doing the money (even making some espresso’s) and someone else on the milk, then you can make a pretty awesome production line.
Unfortunately what happened was there weren’t enough people serving, the process was slow and what ultimately happened was that customers got upset and angry. This was felt not only by the customers but the venue organisers and the other traders.
And I can empathise. Over the 7 years we’ve been trading, we have seen our events get busier and busier. We now have a set-up that consists of bringing 2 units together to make a larger coffee unit for our busier events, we get 4 people involved and we can then keep on top of what would otherwise yield queues (and unhappy customers etc etc) and deliver great service. 1 person and 1 van can cater for smaller events but you need to judge it right.
Interestingly, in our 7 years of mobile coffee service we haven’t changed our bean. One of the nice people giving us feedback on the other supplier also asked what bean we use because our coffee is so much nicer. In addition to service and logisitics, it’s clearly important to get the taste right and for anyone who’d like to know – the answer if you’re interested is Qualitasse in Basingstoke (their premium bean of course – we only serve the best!)