My sincere wish is for Colectivo Coffee to attain the kind of business excellence that generates the abundant tax revenues that provide a community with smooth roads, food on families' tables and books and computers in the schools. Along the way, I believe that it is also fair to expect that Colectivo demonstrate a passion for customer/guest service. The expected level of service is defined by businesses with people who get up every day with a genuine passion for giving the guest an outstanding experience. Such businesses exist and are in competition with Colectivo.
I have observed that Colectivo's operations culture seems overly tolerant of stock-outs ("86"s) and unwillingness/inability to fulfill the customer's order as placed. I believe that a business in Colectivo's category--but indeed any business--should regard fulfilling the customer's wishes, as presented, as mission-critical. If there are systematic problems that prevent this from happening, the business' owners should ask themselves why and take steps to correct the situation. Colectivo seems unusually unresponsive. I have sent e-mails to Colectivo that have gone unanswered. I consider this unacceptable.
One constructive suggestion I can offer is that Colectivo and other coffeehouses attempt to sort patrons between study/work groups and quick service customers, especially on weekends. It's not reasonable for customers who spend the most money per unit of time in the cafe to receive poor service. At the Lakefront cafe, space and staffing would permit an "express lane". I believe the success of this cafe location has been unexpected since day one, and I think Colectivo still struggles to cope with it. Rather than selling merch--which I've never seen anyone buy--and such a wide selection of whole bean coffee, perhaps that space would be better devoted to a quick-service counter with a limited selection of items. This lane could be opened during peak times to reduce the long lines somewhat.
I hope that this article will be read and received in the constructive and helpful spirit in which it is intended.