I spend a lot of time visiting customers and quite often I start my day in a coffee shop. We have an office, but sometimes I like to throw on my headphones and observe employees/customers at our customers place of business in their natural habitat. In coming to the same places often I've noticed a few common traits. First, the staff know people by name and their orders. They don't try to upsell or stick to the cheesy 'corporate' mottos, even at the corporate shops. The successful places seem to hire people that understand the local market and don't train their employees to act the same way they would at an airport location. I like that. The customers seems to feel 'at home'. They may be working, socializing or whatever...but they actually help the location succeed. An example, they will tell the cashier quietly, 'hey, you're out of napkins and people seem to be looking for them'. They are helping MANAGE the place. They are forgiving and feel a part of making it great. How sweet is that? Free labor. Employees that have been there a while appreciate this, those that are just cogs in the wheel roll their eyes. I had a group of regulars at a place I used to bartend at and if we were off our game, they would be the first one to ask us why. I liked that. They didn't tell the manager, they came to us. That level of trust went both ways and made it hard to not look forward to work. Finally, I see the staff communicating as a team, almost unspoken. Its obvious they know each other, have worked together a while and welcome new staff into their family. When the business slows down a bit I see them converse and catch up with each other, but always with a towel in their hand or doing restocking chores. I love seeing this. It proves the point that people will work their asses off if you give them a place where they like the management, staff and the customers.