“Sometimes you want go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came.” So goes the theme song for one of the greatest TV shows in history, “Cheers.”

If you watched the show, you know that when “Norm” walked in the door each episode, the folks around the bar all shouted, “NORM!” They were glad to see him. He was a regular. They counted on him to show up daily, and he counted on them to know him and care about him. They didn’t have to ask what he wanted to drink. They knew, and they started pouring no later than when he had taken his coat off. (Here are some great Norm-entering-the-bar clips on YouTube)

I’ve become a bit of a “Norm” at the coffee shop I visit daily. I go partially because it’s near my office and partially because I think their coffee is awesome. But if I’m honest with myself, the main reason I go is because they know my name and they’re happy when I show up. They start pouring my favorite drink when I walk in. They smile and say, “Hey Wil!” They know I don’t need a receipt. And recently when they stopped serving coffee in porcelain cups and started using regular ole disposable cups, they saved a porcelain cup for me. They saved one for me and a few more for other regulars. Now that’s just smart business. I never asked them to do that. They just did.

Anybody with a loan or some free cash can start a coffee shop. And lots of them can probably figure out how to buy well-roasted beans and serve really good coffee. But not just anybody is wise enough to make sure their staff know all of their regulars by name, greet them by name every time they walk in, and know what they order every day. And I suspect an even smaller percentage would go the extra mile and serve their regulars in different cups, or do something unique that makes those regulars feel special.

So they’ve got me hooked. They’ve got me hooked and not only do I go there daily, but I tell everybody I know about them. And I’m even writing this blog about them. Just because they know my name. And they’re always glad I came.