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Transform Your Workplace

The Magic of Workplace Flexibility with Natalie Fairchild

Tue Jul 18 2023
espresso bar catererevent cateringflexible schedulingemployee diversitypositive customer experienceemployee availabilityorganizational cultureteam buildingfeedback-driven improvementsfranchising


The episode discusses the operations and challenges of Pacific Parks Coffee, an espresso bar caterer that focuses on providing a unique experience for clients at events. It explores the importance of flexibility in scheduling, the diverse pool of employees, and the company's emphasis on creating a positive customer experience. The chapter also delves into employee availability, growth opportunities, and the organizational culture that promotes teamwork and innovation. Insights are shared on the value of feedback, surrounding oneself with the right people, and future plans for franchising.


Flexibility is key

Pacific Parks Coffee prioritizes flexibility in scheduling to meet client needs and accommodate employee preferences.

Diverse workforce

The company attracts employees from various backgrounds and availability, contributing to a rich and diverse team.

Creating a positive experience

Pacific Parks Coffee focuses on creating a positive customer experience by intuitively assessing it during the interview process.

Employee availability and growth

The company addresses employee availability issues and encourages growth through upskilling and exploring different career paths.

Organizational culture and team building

Pacific Parks Coffee fosters a flexible work environment, emphasizes organizational culture, and promotes team building through regular communication and get-togethers.

Value of feedback

The company values feedback from employees and implements their ideas for business improvements.

Future plans

Pacific Parks Coffee plans to expand through franchising in non-registered states and seeks individuals who share their passion for coffee/events and value employees.


  1. Introduction
  2. Flexibility and Employee Diversity
  3. Employee Availability and Growth
  4. Organizational Culture and Team Building
  5. Insights and Future Plans


00:00 - 08:06

  • Pacific Parks Coffee is an espresso bar caterer that focuses on providing a unique experience for clients at events.
  • They charge a flat fee and serve free beverages, ice cream, and food at events.
  • The business operates in an event-oriented manner and serves multiple shifts, including early mornings and late nights.
  • On average, they have 30 to 40 events per week, with January being the slowest month and December the busiest.
  • Clients include companies that appreciate their employees and value employee appreciation events.
  • Scheduling events can be challenging due to short notice (2 days to a year) and the need for flexibility.
  • They have a pool of 18 to 20 employees called 'percologists' who work the events.
  • A proprietary software helps with scheduling by considering availability, seniority, and training of employees.
  • There are still some challenges in scheduling, such as swapping employees for specific event types or dealing with system limitations.
  • The software was developed by a local software development company specifically for Pacific Parks Coffee.

Flexibility and Employee Diversity

07:37 - 14:36

  • Flexibility is important in the business as it allows them to adapt to different client needs and employee preferences.
  • The founders of Pacific Perks started the business with flexibility in mind, as one of them needed a flexible work schedule due to health reasons.
  • They initially hired contract workers but later made them employees to ensure legal compliance and provide benefits.
  • Pacific Perks caters to a niche market of people who want to work but don't want a traditional part-time or full-time position.
  • The company attracts diverse employees with different backgrounds and availability, such as flight attendants, parents, college students, and professionals from other industries.
  • Creating a positive experience for customers is crucial for Pacific Perks, and they intuitively assess this during the interview process.
  • They are currently working on documenting their onboarding methodology to ensure consistency in creating the desired experience.
  • Maintaining an active pool of employees can be challenging if they are consistently unavailable or bypassed for assignments. The company does not specify a time limit for inactive employees.

Employee Availability and Growth

14:08 - 21:01

  • Employees who are consistently unavailable or declining events are considered not available and their availability is discussed with them.
  • Some employees take breaks but later come back to work, which allows for growth and trying other chapters in their lives.
  • Employees may leave to pursue other ventures, such as starting their own business.
  • Upskilling employees and allowing them to explore different career paths is important.
  • Availability documentation varies based on individual schedules, with some employees updating it on an as-needed basis.
  • Employees are asked to make themselves available for one Saturday a month, although it doesn't guarantee they will work that day.
  • The company faces challenges when employees go on maternity leave or have injuries, requiring the operations team to step in and fill the gaps.
  • Teacher appreciation week is a busy time for the company, sometimes requiring employees to work multiple events per day.
  • Last-minute event requests can be accommodated but may incur additional charges.

Organizational Culture and Team Building

20:40 - 27:23

  • Flexible work environment with a focus on improving organizational culture
  • Use of the app Group Me for connecting and sharing event picks, funny things, tips, and support
  • Weekly email updates and quarterly get-togethers to keep the team connected
  • Emphasis on hiring good people who become friends and maintain connections even after leaving the company
  • Creating a culture where people can bring their whole selves to work
  • Encouraging feedback from new hires and implementing their ideas for business improvements
  • Examples of employee-driven changes include creating a grilled cheese bar, adding little dust pans in tote bags, and reorganizing event sign filing process

Insights and Future Plans

27:10 - 32:01

  • We love feedback and have changed many things based on it.
  • We tell people when they start with us that giving feedback is important.
  • We try to reiterate how thankful we are for feedback and where we're at with it.
  • Success comes from surrounding oneself with the right people, not knowing everything.
  • The work environment is great and the business made it through the pandemic.
  • Treat people with kindness, meet them where they're at, and really see them.
  • Recognize what employees are going through and offer support.
  • Not feeling like you need to know it all and surrounding yourself with professionals or employees who can help you get there is important.
  • Giving employees room to be themselves, make mistakes, and grow is valuable.
  • The next step for us is franchising in non-registered states like Oregon.
  • We're looking for individuals who have gone through similar experiences as us or love coffee/events and value employees as much as I do.
  • The best way to connect is through or my email