The Grind: Major Changes Coming to Align Company with Vision

It may seen counter productive to prepare for a potential recession by spending money, cutting prices, and opening a second location, but there’s a method to the madness.

Restaurants and cafes who are simply doing too much, are drowning in their own lack of efficiency, inventory, waste, and labor. Recently, several key factors in determining the chances of a recession have been met, and economists around the globe are urging more and more that Americans and Europeans alike need to prepare for an impending recession, one that in many respects already feels present in its unfolding.

Ultimately, those who come out on top over the next few years are the companies which can do the fundamental duties that a company is supposed to do. These include increasing efficiency, reducing labor, marketing and selling their product, as well as reducing waste, perfecting their consistency, and ensuring a strong connection with their customer base and community.

The Grind is at the forefront of these obvious paths to continued success and realizes that its long term survivability is only as possible as it is relevant in peoples lives. This realization led us to ask simple questions:

  1. How can we be more competitive in the labor market by paying our people more than the industry standard and improving company culture?

In lieu of these questions, we began to go back to the drawing board. What exactly would The Grind look like if we were building it right now? If we wanted to be the same company, but better, more efficient, leaner and meaner, with everything the customer could want, but with less of a dent in their pocket. What would keep a factory worker coming to our establishment even when they risk being laid off? How do we maintain our position downtown for years to come in both Bluefield and Wytheville? Our conversations lasted months, some made the cut and some were a pipe dream…nonetheless, all were necessary in discussing how we want to reinvest ourselves into both Downtowns.

The actions we are taking are in line with core principals and what our customer base demands moving forward.

Firstly, we are investing upwards of $26,000 in our current Bluefield location and $80,000 in Wytheville which will yield several results. We will extend our counter in Bluefield to the window and re-imagine our counter layout to increase efficiency amongst baristas.

We will invest in a 3 group Nuova Simonelli espresso machine for both shops, an upgrade from our current 2 group which will allow us to pour more shots and get more drinks out the door more hastily, without compromise. We will keep the 2 group for emergency use between Bluefield and Wytheville. We will further replace our current grinder with a Mythos titanium burr grinder with tamper mechanism built in, meaning the process of grinding the espresso and tamping it will happen within the same process and eliminate hand tamping, and take approximately 5–8 seconds off per espresso based drink.

In line with the counter extension, we will add a built in blender cleaning system which will eliminate the need to clean blenders in the kitchen, taking 25–60 seconds off per blended drink alone. We will also introduce a 3 spout countertop ice cream soft serve machine which will be used to eliminate bulky ice cream storage and hand scooping for our blended drinks, while standardizing the consistency of the cream. This ice cream machine will also be used for the addition of a wide variety of milkshakes with a milkshake specific blending system at The Grind. The milkshakes are not meant to be the flashy mess which seems to be all the trend — but which ultimately haunts mothers and fathers alike as their children tear into a brownie topped mountain of a mess, rather — these will be the classic and reasonably priced milkshakes Americans have come to love over the years, with the high quality and customizable options they expect from us, always.

We will add significant milk storage capabilities to our Bluefield and Wytheville location which makes milk delivery a 1 or 2 times per week ordeal, versus the every other night and sometimes nightly ordeal we currently face. In line with customer requests, we will add Bodyarmor drinks, Minutemaid orange juice, cranberry juice, Monster energy drinks and other similar products to our front coolers to give people a wider assortment of grab & go options. After we have completed all of these, we will make the decision on whether to move forward with self-ordering kiosks to help disperse long lines during heavy traffic hours, OR robust front of shop signage that helps light up downtown.

In order to add these processes, pieces of equipment, and focused offerings, we are scaling back our lunch menu so that we can offer all day breakfast and focus on more fairly priced items rather than a wider assortment which also aims at cutting waste, a change which will be implemented May 1st.

Updating everyone on the progress of our Wytheville shop, we are fully funded, moving forward, and in a much better position to finish our project than months previous. Nothing seems to be moving quite that smoothly in business these days and things are taking much longer than previously thought, despite this, we are moving forward and getting back on track! We want to thank downtown Wytheville for having such a well oiled and functioning IDA and local government and working closely with us.

We cannot wait to show you our updates as ATV season descends upon us and we welcome in tourist season, we look forward to continung to serve Bluefield for years to come! #TheGrindNeverStops

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The Grind

U.S Army / OEF Vet, College Football Player, Small Business Start-Up Owner, Student