“Your usual?”

I nod and smile, anticipation already setting in for my medium white chocolate annihilator coffee. “Thanks,” I answer.

I hear the chatter of my co-workers around me, feel the warmth of the sunshine and stare at the moving traffic going by. I idly play with the Big Name Coffee Franchise coffee-sleeve in my hand as I wait.

“Having a good day so far?” The barrista’s name is Adam. He knows my name as well as most of my co-workers names. He’s one of those people who can be super cheerful without it being too annoying.

It’s just on 9 am. No real way to determine a good or bad day, but I’m out of the office, on a short walk to get coffee. My co-workers are laughing in their small group, already sipping on their coffee orders. How can that be bad?

“So far.” I smile again, it just feels like the right thing to say. I’d rather not commit to the tone of the day before my coffee.

The barrista, Adam, frowns at me. Not really a frown, more of an exasperated smile and holds out his hand, “Give me that.”

I offer up the coffee sleeve, the brown cardboard transfers from me to him without a word because before coffee I’m usually better at just following directions.

My attention back to my co-workers, I offer a comment to their current running joke, then hear my name again.

I turn, delighted that my coffee is ready and already neatly tucked into the sleeve. I take it, immediately grateful for the caffeine infusion that is almost, literally, within my grasp.

But something is off? The feeling against my hand isn’t the same as it was when I gave the sleeve up.

I turn the cup. The branded Big Name Coffee Franchise name has been covered by a sticker. “Dutch Bros Coffee” now replaces it.

I laugh, delighted.

“Having a good day now?”

“Yeah,” I say. “It’s gonna be fantastic.”

My small group moves away, back down the street towards work and phones and emails. We’re all still laughing and have yet another reason to come back tomorrow. Happy, long-time customers not just by convenience … but by choice.

Sometimes, it really is the little things that matter to a customer. First-time customer to long-term customer… service that maintains a high level consistently is noticed and rewarded.

‘Chelle Parmele
Social Media Marketing Manager
Dutch Bros Coffee customer since 2005