When the Keurig® Brewing System first arrived in the UK, the majority of ‘early adopters’ were North American ex-pats, delighted to recapture ‘the true taste of home.’ However, us Brits are quick to recognise a good thing when we see it and these days, the style, the simplicity; the breadth of choice and the quality of Keurig® is making an indelible mark in British culture, both at home and at work.
Take Swagger & Jacks for example. Here’s a business that’s in tune with the zeitgeist, if ever there was one. You see, beards are back: male fashionistas are sporting facial hair once more and not just George Michael-style stubble, either: not since Victorian times have men spent so much time, effort (and hard cash) in growing, styling and grooming their beards and it’s upon this connection, with our ‘quintessentially British’ past, that Swagger & Jacks is building its business and its reputation.
‘We’ve recreated a traditional English barber’s shop’, said Swagger & Jacks Mark Young, ‘with the atmosphere of a gentleman’s club.’ It’s an atmosphere that is not solely the result of discerning shop fitting and design: on the contrary, it’s the company’s service, the way it cares for its customers, that affords Swagger & Jacks patrons some respite from the ill-mannered and impersonal demands of high-tempo contemporary living. It’s an oasis of indulgence in a desert of duty.
‘It’s all about the quality of the experience’, Mark said. ‘In our original barber’s shop, we employed a full-time barista, which was great; but it was very labour intensive. We wanted to offer a product of similar quality that was far simpler to deliver.’
Swagger & Jacks began an exhaustive process of investigation; aimed at identifying the best possible hot drinks offer to add value to the customer experience. At the culmination of the process, one option stood head and shoulders above the rest: Keurig®.
‘The quality of the drinks is excellent’, Mark said, ‘and there are other advantages too: because the system uses K-Cup® packs, customers can choose from a wide selection of coffees and teas. Because of this, there is no wastage. The Keurig® brewer is simplicity itself to maintain and to keep clean. Likewise, it’s easy to keep the brewing area clean and tidy, too. What’s more, we enjoy a very high level of support from Seymour Valentine, the company that distributes the Keurig®system. The company understood immediately what we are trying to achieve and they worked hard to give us the solution we needed.’
‘We’re delighted that Swagger & Jacks have taken to the Keurig® system so enthusiastically’, said Seymour Valentine Director Bob Norton. ‘This is a company that is successful because it refuses to compromise where the quality of the customer experience is concerned, so their endorsement of Keurig® is an important feather in the brand’s cap.’
Sadly, when it comes to trying-out the Swagger & Jacks experience, (and what man wouldn’t?) the odds are that most of our readers will be out of luck. It’s early days for the company: Swagger & Jacks Gentleman’s Grooming Barbershop is based in Norwich. Its flagship emporium is a blend of vintage men’s barbershop design, with a contemporary British style, which invites customers of all ages to enjoy relaxing and luxurious surroundings, with quality of service at the heart of the experience.
‘We provide the highest quality men’s haircuts, traditional cut throat shaves with hot towels, beard shaping and design, and hair colouring services specifically designed for today’s modern gentlemen’ Mark said. ‘The Team at Swagger & Jacks has a wealth of barbering experience and they’re all members of the British Barbers Association.’
The chances are that there won’t be a Swagger and Jacks opening near you any time soon. ‘We’ve looked at the possibility of franchising’ Mark said, ‘and although it might be a good way of growing the business, it’s more important to us to maintain our quality of service; so we prefer that people opening a new Swagger & Jacks barbershop have worked with us for some time and are immersed in the way we do things.’
Let’s be clear: when quality is paramount in your customer offer, be sure that you don’t neglect your beverage provision. If attention to detail is an intrinsic part of your business – as it is at Swagger & Jacks – remember the KISS! Rule: ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid!’, or you might say, ‘Keurig® Is Simple, Stupid.’