Things were simple when we started serving handcrafted coffee and espresso drinks in 1987. A few stores. A limited menu. Baristas knew which drink to make by how cups were laid on the espresso machine or by seeing that regular customer walk through the door.
By the mid-1990s, we began to offer more beverages and expanded into markets around the world. We started marking beverage orders in Sharpie pens on our cups as our processes, by necessity, became more complex.
In 2012, we decided to honor everyone who walked through the door as an individual. Store partners began to wear name tags on their green aprons. And they started asking customers for THEIR names and writing them on cups. The changes worked: Barista and customer were once again on a first-name basis.