When Daniel Batty interviewed for the director of construction position at Dutch Bros Coffee, the CEO spoke little about his background and résumé.
Instead, they talked about personal things: life, family, hobbies. By the second hour of the interview, the two men were bonding over the loved ones they had lost and the profound impact it had on their lives. But that was more than just a cathartic experience—it was also the perfect introduction to the culture that Batty would soon find at Dutch Bros.
While the company has been serving coffee since 1992, back when it was just two brothers brewing from a pushcart in the small town of Grants Pass, Oregon, it has since grown to more than 350 locations in seven states and thrives off its values of warmth, respect, and love.
As Batty explains, the CEO of Dutch Bros revitalized the company after losing his brother and being reminded of the “importance of love.” The company stopped franchising the business and focused on spreading happiness from dirt to cup, embracing the needs of both Dutch Bros employees and every person they come into contact with along the journey.
Once Dutch Bros builds a drive-through shop or walk-in coffee house, Batty says, the company hands the keys off to one of its employees, who are guaranteed a fixed salary and 50 percent of the profits. “We’re very good to our people,” Batty remarks. And those people in return pay it forward—Dutch Bros employees pride themselves on their ability to engage with, and even change the entire outlook of, the communities they serve.
This is practiced in a variety of ways, namely through the company’s foundation, Love Abounds, which supports charitable programs and donations. Whether that’s done through funding soccer and baseball fields, team members making weekend trips together to pick up trash in local communities, or through its countless donations, Dutch Bros is devoted to having a local impact.
“We love the Grants Pass community so much, and we’ve heard from so many people who are just so grateful for our CEO and all he has done in Josephine County,” Batty says. “We hire professionals that embrace a servant leadership mentality. It sounds like such an easy concept: do good, be nice, and work with love, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t bring that energy.”
And Dutch Bros works hard to keep that energy level high, Batty notes, starting with a caffeinated celebration each Monday morning. “We have ‘dub shots,’ which means we all gather around the front office, grab a double espresso shot, and celebrate our company. It’s a chance to give a toast to all of the people who have had some sort of success, whether that’s getting married, graduating college, or gaining a new addition to the family. This is usually followed up by letters from our customers sharing how we have touched their lives as well.”
Moments like those are not just to highlight the positives in the team members’ lives, Batty says, but they also help you think about the people you work with and understand their journeys a bit better.
“We’re so quick to judge people, but we don’t know what’s going on in their life,” he explains. “There was one person I knew in a previous position who was very challenging to work alongside. But then, my last week at the company, we had to spend several hours together and I heard about what had happened to him—his wife had died in a car accident and he was left to raise his son by himself, who passed at age 18 from cancer. All my animosity toward him just melted away. It was the most valuable lesson I had ever learned about judging people without access to their past experience.”
At Dutch Bros, Batty continues to make people a top priority—and says that’s the secret to his triumphs.
When the director of construction joined the company in July 2018, there was a “clean slate” on the construction side of the business. “They had some pieces in place, but they didn’t have the formula. It was a chance for me to bring my experience into play and help them meet their development needs,” Batty elaborates.
That formula has certainly evolved. Dutch Bros went from developing 9 sites annually to 26 in Batty’s first year at the company, and after completing 61 projects in 2019, they’ll be aiming for triple digits in the coming years. “I would love to think, ‘Gosh, this all happened because I am such an amazing dude,’” Batty jokes. “Actually, we went on a bit of a hiring spree when I came here and loaded up our team with some amazingly talented professionals. We’ve built all this together as a team. I love being challenged by them; they make me a better person and the ongoing collaboration makes us better at our jobs each day.”
“I love to laugh and am constantly looking for antidotes or quips to help me navigate the day. I actually made my own acronym for ‘LOVE’ because it’s such a big deal to us,” Batty continues. “I always say, ‘Laugh Often, Value Everyone.’ It is the real formula to success that so many companies are lacking nowadays, and something I want to embrace.”
As Batty remarks, that sense of love is particularly important when the team inevitably has to have ‘tough conversations.’ For example, in order to ensure greater consistency across the board with their projects, Batty and his team have reduced the number of architects who work on their projects to four teams and collaborate exclusively with qualified, reliable general contractors. While he recognizes that there are challenges in limiting who can touch Dutch Bros’ buildings, he focuses on the positive outcomes of price, quality, and delivery.
“That’s how we get the quality we’re looking for,” Batty explains. “We’re only as good as our partnerships, and we have developed an incredible group of team players. . . I work for an amazing brand, ‘the unicorn’ as I like to say; it’s almost too good to be true. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up from a dream and thankfully I never do.”
ES&A Sign and Awning Co. congratulates Daniel Batty of Dutch Bros. Coffee on this well-deserved recognition. ES&A is proud to be a partner with Dutch Bros. Coffee and provide exceptional building signage for their existing and future locations that reflect the energy, excitement and passion of the Dutch Bros. Coffee culture.