I was at an Intelligentsia coffee shop in Venice, CA, a few weeks ago. I ordered an espresso. As my order came up, I watched the barista. He pulled the shot, and as I was ready to take and enjoy it with the side of sparkling water they include, he paused before he gave it to me. He took the towel tucked into his apron and carefully wiped off the few tiny splashes of espresso that ended up on the rim of the cup and around the saucer.
He could have easily given it to me as-is and I would have been happy. But he took that extra step. And I noticed.
This is one of the reasons Intelligentsia is so successful: They’ve integrated care into every part of their customer experience. That isn’t necessarily the kind of thing that gets people in the door for the first time, but it is what keeps them coming back again and again.