According to their website, the core values of Dutch Brothers, a southern Oregon-based coffee chain, are speed, quality, and service. These core values are their competitive advantage. They do these things so well, it differentiates them from all other coffee chains and has created a cult following of loyal customers and employees. Baristas are rebranded as BROistas and have an energy that is unmatched by your typical morning coffee commute. Their high-touch model starts with customers ordering with an employee who comes to your car with an iPad and ends with them handing you a drink after engaging in a lively conversation about what you’re doing that day. The drinks are also extremely customizable with a huge variety of flavors and unique additions. The food menu is limited to packaged treats and bagels available at limited locations. This increases the speed at which customers are served because they don’t have to wait for the preparation of food.
I have a friend who used to work for Dutch Brothers as a Broista who provided me with the following compensation information. A Broista’s pay starts at an hourly minimum wage of $11.25 in Oregon, in addition to tips, the workers split from their shift. They can be promoted to a shift lead who earns $0.25 an hour plus tips. Then there are assistant managers, managers, and owners who all increase in compensation in line with industry standards. Benefits include a free piece of merch every month, free coffee at any of the stores from your franchise whenever you want, and the recent addition of a tuition assistance program to get a degree. However, workers are not allowed to work over 32 hours per week because that is the threshold of having to provide health benefits. This might make scheduling more complicated for the employer, however more flexible for the employees. According to MarketWatch, promoting exclusively from within “has resulted in an engaged employee base and a ‘broista’ turnover rate of just 55%, well below the industry average hourly turnover rate.” (Garcia 2021) I think it is important to add that Dutch Bros had its IPO in October of 2021 and doesn’t have an employee ownership program yet, but I think they will eventually, similar to Starbucks.
The coffee shop industry has always been a popular option for workers looking for part-time work. Dutch Bros have created a brand around finding a certain character of employees to ensure their customer receives a high energy interaction to go with their super sweet coffee. They attract young adults who identify with their party attitude. Although the compensation is not anything special in terms of the industry average, the popularity that leads to more tips than baristas might get elsewhere, and the ultra-fun culture are what sets them apart.
Garcia, Tanya (October 15 2021) MarketWatch Newly public Dutch Bros. locations are small but growth potential is large, analysts say