The interesting thing about small towns is that their businesses often don’t know how they measure up against their counterparts in larger metropolitan areas. In Milledgeville, Georgia the owners of a small coffee shop had no idea if they were doing the right things.
Blackbird Coffee’s owners called Blue Orbit to assess operations and to help them establish systems to make the business more predictable and viable. However, they had no idea what pieces of their business were “keepers” and which were “duds”. After assessing operations, reviewing bookkeeping statements, speaking with guests and getting to know the business’ nuances, it became clear that Blackbird Coffee was a concept ripe for growth, selling a world class product through a keen and bright service staff. But it wasn’t yet profitable.
Poor through-put flow, point of sale protocols, merchandising, and assortment rationalization were at the root of Blackbird’s problems while the brand, logo, vibe, and service were all as good as any big-city coffee house. They even roasted their own beans. Blue Orbit prescribed new menu and merchandising philosophies, service flow, and an inexpensive physical change to the counter and menu structure. The owners followed the advice and have reported a significant and steady increase in sales. They are also preparing to open more Blackbird Coffees around Georgia and, hopefully, beyond.