People Experience: Coffee done Right

July 19, 2006 - Get free updates of new posts here

If you remember last week I ripped on a small coffee shop and suggested some things for them to improve. Well this morning, sitting in the Castro district of San Francisco
I have found the location they should learn from. Philz Coffee, yea that’s right with a “Z.”

philz coffee

Philz does so many things right:

1- Everyone knows your name. The employees know the majority of the customers, wished them happy anniversary and made me feel welcomed to taste their delicious coffee. They have great attitudes. Phil is a real guy who cares which makes a huge difference to the customers. I wonder if they even consider the people buying coffee customers and more like friends.
2- Less is More. They only have 6 coffees you can choose from. From flavors called the WOW to The Ecstatic. They take time to go over any of the flavors with you. Only brew one cup at a time old fashioned style.

3- Music. They play music that caters to the community. Listening to Belle and Sebastian right now. Enough said.

4- Community. I am using their free wifi now and they do have power plugs. They have tons of events at this location. They have free weekly coffee tastings. Who does that?

This is how you stand a chance against Starbucks. Right now the employees are debating how you have to sing to “like a virgin” when its playing. One guy didn’t know who Madonna was got made fun of. Good Morning:)

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7 responses to “People Experience: Coffee done Right

  1. Yitz Reply

    Philz is without a doubt the best coffee place I think I’ve ever been to. Not sure if it’s the atmosphere per se, but the coffee is just incredible. The main reason I despise Starbucks is not because it’s a soulless mega-chain, but simply because its coffee is horrible. “Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.”

  2. Nick Gavronsky Reply

    Now that sounds like customer service to me! Pretty cool, sounds like they have created a very enticing environment. Theres not enough places like this. I personally find that starbucks is slowly becoming more and more “impersonal.”

  3. Sri Reply


    Your recent posts about Banks and coffee shops got me thinking about hotels too….shouldnt hotels change as well?

    Think about it. When you stay in a hotel, technically each night you pay should be a 24 hour cycle…but many hotels want you to check in at 3pm and check out next day by 11am.
    This pisses me off! I am not usually up by 12 noon. I had one hotel in Boston that harrased me to “get out” of the room by 1pm or they will charge the next day. They kept calling….

    Talking about hotels, here is a funny incident:
    Wifey and I reserve a hotel room in Orlando for 3 nights. Because of flight delays, we arrived at the hotel past midnight, so the front desk lady said our reservation was cancelled because we did not arrive on March 25th. So she had to make a new reservation. So she checked us in for March 26th and basically we got charged for 2 nights. Well cant complain there! (maybe she was nice….)

    Oh yeah…here is an advice…even if you book and pay your hotels through expedia or orbitz and get a CONFIRMATION number…ALWAYS CALL AHEAD!!!

    Our hotel in Miami did NOT receive the reservations from and the hotel was sold out!

    Expedia was NOT helpful in resolving the matter. All they said was “we can issue you a refund”. I told them FUCK NO…..rooms are now $200 a night….i want you to pay for that……they basically told me to fuck off and dream on.

    The hotel which I originally reserved took pity on me and said to come back at 11pm and if there were no-shows, she would get me the room at the low cheap rate i reserved for ($49). Thank god!! God bless her heart.

    When I came back, I filed several complaints and tried to talk to many people in Expedia… took over 2 days of haggling and finally they gave me a $100 credit in my account for future reservations. This is not the happy ending…..

    It had a 6 month expiry date on it and I did not pay attention to the voucher….as a result…it expired. I am an idiot.

  4. Alberen Reply

    Background music, for whatever reason is always powerful.

    Knowing people’s names goes A LONG way in whatever business you are in…. in my office supply business I would not allow people to ask who they were talking to… we are in a small enough town that we were supposed to know it… if we didn’t figure it out by the end of the call then we’d just check the caller ID and know who to take the order to.

    I think Belle and Sebastion writes all of their music on The Tube at like 3am…it’s good stuff… they were touing the US earlier this year and may still be.

    People can easily be overwhelmed by too many choices. As a matter of fact!!!… rotating choices are a HUGE business driver… curiosity is a HUGE motivator of things… I read about European store that rotates its 100 items every three weeks… keeping people coming back wondering whats going to be there…. great idea for coffee too!

    By the way, I just heard today about a coffee shop in Miami Florida that allows you to custom build (or download to a player) a CD via a touch screen at their coffee shop…. drink coffee and make a CD with friends (or by yourself.)