This coffee shop isn’t going to make it.
It’s not that I am experienced in food service, a professional restaurateur, or even a coffee sales consultant.
I just enjoy coffee and I get to work from places like this. So, it’s a gut notion formed from intuition, observation, and experience. The same intuition, observation and experience that many guests who attend worship services every Sunday might use.
Here is why I feel that this coffee shop isn’t going make it:
1. There are pretty much only two other people in here besides me.
Like it or not, sustainability is tied to customers. Me and the other pastor (as evidenced by his MacBook and Bible) are milking a few hours of internet off one $3 cup of coffee. The other gentleman is an obvious regular, I have seen him here before and there are lots of inside jokes and conversations that I overhear while waiting for my espresso fix.
2. The staff is a bit too overzealous.
When I am in here, I am reminded to like their Facebook page, vote for them in a poll of some sort and tell my friends. Multiple times. This kind of frenetic “like us” activity just makes me feel like its up to me to keep the doors open, which is not what I was looking for when I walked in the door to begin with.
3. The menu is always changing.
I see: “Now serving breakfast!”
“Open for lunch!”
“Have you tried our gelato?!!!”
I read: “We are grasping at straws here!”
“Our coffee and our atmosphere are not enough.”
As I said, these ideas are really just a gut notion, I am only a professional in as much as I drink a LOT of coffee. But I am probably right. And if so, I have other options right around the corner, including Starbucks.
What is missing at this particular coffee shop is an inviting experience built around quality and consistent coffee offerings. And I want to have that in my neighborhood, with my neighbors.
These thoughts raise the question, do guests who attend our churches see and feel the same things? Leaders pleading for support and attention to programs. Constant change in strategy to something read or copied from other successful churches. A bunch of regulars having insider conversations they do not understand or even care about. They walked in just looking for Jesus in a transformational moment.
Could it be that an inviting experience built around offering the Gospel with quality and consistency is all that is missing?