Neil Campbell, international operations excellence director at Costa


“You can have the best marketing ideas in the world, but if the guys in your stores don’t buy into it, it just won’t work. We discuss what we will do with the marketing department and how our store teams will take it. Most of the marketing gets to store level, which means the in-store guys know about campaigns and what they are expected to do.

Our teams enjoy taking part in some product initiatives, like the Flat White, because they see it as a credit to them and their ability to make good coffee. It’s seen as recognising that they are the only baristas that could deliver this consistently around the UK. Any business that has both full and part-time members understands the importance of delivering consistent experiences.

We have a recognition culture for store teams. About 70% of our store managers have come up through the ranks. We focus on consistency and good performance. We talk to teams about the speed of service for the guy that’s in a rush. Or chatting to that friendly lady who wants to talk to us.

We don’t have email access in our stores, so we need to talk to people a lot. We bring the teams together at a conference and then the messages cascade out from there. But that means making sure we get every message right from the start so we can be very clear about what we ask them to do.”

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