How Philz is Using Technology to Build its Vision of Community Workforce

Ever since my dad, Phil, served his first cup of coffee in our Mission store in 2003 — when I had to stand on milk crates to help him behind the counter — it’s been clear that the Philz workforce is more than just time cards and replaceable hands; people are the backbone of our culture.

Today, Philz is made up of students, moms, artists, and skateboarders. Some wear glasses, some are passionate Game of Thrones fans, and some are known to sing out loud behind the coffee bar. Team members are not just employees, they are unique, and each one is an important part of our community. Together, we work hard to make Philz the place you go for a perfect cup of coffee, made to your taste.

I’m excited to share that today, we are rolling out Legion, a new machine learning-based scheduling and operations tool, to all 1,000+ people that work in Philz stores around the nation. Now, our team members have the power to control when, where, and how much they work, and store leaders can automate behind-the-scenes operations so they can spend more time focusing on their people — customers and business growth. This move allows us to better serve our team and customers positioning us as a leader in shaping retail workforce management.

Over the past year, we compiled data from employee exit interviews and found that 30–40% people quit because their schedule no longer worked for them. Now, with Legion’s technology, we have a real-time awareness of staffing needs and employee availability, allowing us to optimize for the business and our Philz community.

At the core, we are in the people business, not just the coffee business — this is reflected in the relationships we have with our customers, our selective hiring and promotion processes, and the Philz University training and college degree support we provide to everyone who works at Philz.

Not only does the flexibility provide stronger team member buy-in, but it also supports a great customer experience and underlying business metrics. With this new technology, we’re one step closer to our ambitious vision of a true Community Workforce.