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Café management responds to COVID-19 safety measures

Courtesy of AK Photo

Students in the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management run two Beans coffee shops on campus—one at the Joy Burns Center and the other at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Last fall, in response to COVID-19, the Joy Burns Center location shifted to a grab-and-go operation. The Korbel location has been temporarily closed due to limited building access.

We asked Fritz Knoebel Operations Manager Kristen DuFour (MBA 2020) and Beans General Manager Morgan Weeks (BSBA 2021) to share how Beans Café is adjusting to the changes.

Because of COVID-19, what changes did you make at Beans this fall, and what challenges did you face?

Kristen: We had logistics, training and technological challenges. We moved the ordering and pick-up process outside of the Beans Café at the Joy Burns Center so customers could walk up to the window to place their order and pick up their order at the next window over. The move was helpful for us to be able to enforce proper distancing. With the quarantine restrictions in place, we had to do more individual training for our team members.

When you order at the Beans window, the food order gets sent to the kitchen, and the drink order gets sent to the coffee shop. We decided to invest in new printers to print orders out in their respective locations.

Courtesy of AK Photo

How have things been going? Has there been an upside to all of this?

Kristen: Overall, things have been going great. Our team adapted quickly, and we had extra help fall quarter from our Knoebel Events kitchen staff. We have a team of rock star baristas and student managers. It has been great to see them adapt to these changes and be willing to roll with the punches.

Morgan: Due to our strong and flexible staff we were able to stay open and continue to serve the DU community. During this time, Beans’ wonderful staff was able to step up and care for each other.

Ordering via the window in Joy Burns is such a great idea. Do you see this continuing throughout the winter? Are there any other changes you think you’ll keep when things return to normal?

Kristen: Yes, the window has worked out very well for us, and I think our customers are happy with it. We are in the process of activating online ordering. I think that will be beneficial in helping us reach students all across campus.

Morgan: People seem to like the walk-up window. It makes ordering more efficient and quicker. We made some technical changes that we will probably keep. We have started printing tickets instead of writing on cups, which has helped with efficiency.

Courtesy of Beans’ Facebook page

What do you like most about working at Beans?

Morgan: I started working at Beans as a barista in September 2019 and became general manager in June 2020. I love the people and the environment. Beans is like a club that is also a job. We like to joke that it’s the only club on campus that pays you to be a member!

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Beans?

Kristen: We are still offering catering. Please reach out to Beans@DU.edu for more information. Also, follow Beans on social media. We frequently post on Instagram (@beanscoffeeshop) about our drink specials and deals.

Morgan: We have an amazing seasonal food menu created by Executive Chef Tim Downs. Everyone should try it!