Hey Coffee Geeks! I hope your December is off to a good start and you’ve been able to sip some of that new 200hr Supernatural. I’ve really been enjoying that coffee. It’s about as fruity and intense of a coffee as I’ve ever had.
November & December are generally quite a busy time of year at Stone Creek as we work through the holidays and celebrate peak coffee season. It’s been a little bit since Eric or I sent out an update, so we wanted to make sure you heard from us this weekend. Part of the busy-ness that comes from the holiday season for us are the final preparations for the next year. We’re now on the home-stretch of the 2022 budget planning. 2022 will be a very important year in the life of the company as we learn to operate with the new cost structure we established back in October with the higher wage ranges. As we’ve said before, we believe in on our team and we’re confident we can take the momentum we’ve built in 2021 into the New Year.
Related to that, a big thanks to all of you who worked over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Black Friday and Cyber Monday promos performed very well for us both in cafes and on our website. It was a great start to the holiday season. We also have some good opportunities ahead of us with some unique product sales and our usual December Gift Card Give Back. I also want to shout out Harmony and Val who put so much time and effort into our holiday marchandise and cafe decor. The cafes look lovely and tastefully festive.
As we wind the year down, there are a couple of other things we wanted to point out or remind you all about:
App Adjustments – We’ve continued to make updates to our new mobile ordering app. We’re excited to report that we just launched the “Order History” feature where customers can now simply repeat their favorite order without having to ring everything up every time they use the app. At this point all customer information should save in the app and they should have easy visibility into their accrued reward points. We believe we’ve gotten the app to a great place, but please let us know if you continue to receive any feedback from customers or if you have any ideas on how we can continue to make this tool better.
Advanced Notice Incentive and new Referral Bonus – In our last round of workshops we ran everybody through a number of new benefits or benefit adjustments. There are actually a couple others that we didn’t have set in the moment, that we also wanted to make you aware of. First, is our “Advanced Notice Incentive.” When a team member knows they are planning to leave SCC, they are encouraged to communicate this information to teams@stonecreekcoffee and their Team Leader as far in advance as possible. This advanced notice aids us in recruiting, hiring, and training new team members in support of healthy teams that are fully staffed with highly trained team members. Provided the team member provides a minimum of 4 weeks advanced notice in writing to teams@stonecreekcoffee and their Team Leader and completes their term of notice in good standing, an Advanced Notice Incentive will be added to their final paycheck as follows:
- 4 Weeks Advanced Notice: $100 added to final paycheck
- 8 Weeks Advanced Notice: $200 added to final paycheck
- 12 Weeks Advanced Notice: $300 added to final paycheck
In addition to this we’ve also again expanded our Referral Bonus. We know that some of our best employees come through referrals from current employees. We really value this, and we want to provide a more remarkable “thank you” to employees who refer their friends in the future. The referral bonus for referring someone who becomes an employee is currently $250. All of the information on how our referral program works can be reviewed in the Employee Handbook.
These adjustments are some of the final things we put in place to keep us in a healthy staffing situation. I am very pleased to say that we have fully come out of the understaffing that was at times, stressful earlier this fall. I’m proud of the work done by our teams to keep the company running so well during that time, and of the thinking and preparation being done in our Teams & People team to make sure we don’t end up in a similar situation again.
Cafe Happenings – Sadly, this Sunday is our last day operating the Bay View cafe. While this outcome was not something we initially planned, we’re thankful for the team we have as we work to overcome the loss and continue to strengthen the cafes that we have. To that end, we’re finalizing the Shorewood remodel design plans. While we initially hoped to complete the remodel this winter, the actual implementation timeline will likely be later due to issues of contractor availability and material supplies. We’ll definitely let you know as soon as we have firm dates in place. Meanwhile, we continue to chip away at other small projects addressing infrastructure needs we have across the company. Be sure to thank our Tech team (Joshua, Zach, and Cecil) as you see them for the work they do to keep our equipment running well and our spaces looking beautiful.
I will wrap it there for now. There are, of course, many other things currently happening and/or in development across the company, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything or have any questions. We’ll pass along another update before the end of the month. In the meantime, enjoy these holiday weeks and the time with friends and family!
Director of Development