Skip to main content

Case Study: How Specific Gravity Enhances Operations at Philz Coffee

Philz Coffee’s relationship with Specific Gravity has brought time and cost savings, hassle-free support, increased efficiency, and much more.
Philz coffee barista

Philz Coffee is a well-established coffee brand with a 20-year history, founded by Phil Jaber in San Francisco. With 68 units across California and Chicago and a growth trajectory of 10-20% annually, Philz Coffee aims to expand its presence throughout the United States. 

“But in terms of technology service and support, Philz was like a ‘20-year-old startup,’ without a strong infrastructure in place,” says Andy Mai, Chief Technology Officer at Philz Coffee. “We had a great mobile app, but lacked the ability to truly support our stores — with no compliance, security, or help desk solutions in place.”

Advertisement - article continues below
Philz customers

The Challenge

As a digital-first organization, Philz Coffee prioritizes the guest experience and continuously seeks ways to bring the digital world into its physical stores. “As we started to grow, we realized we needed a partner for new-store openings – cabling, POS, security, etc.,” says Mai. To address these challenges, Philz Coffee turned to Specific Gravity, a solution founded by three former Crumbs Bake Shop executives to help multi-unit hospitality and retail brands manage and optimize their technology.

Specific Gravity logo

Implementation of Specific Gravity

Specific Gravity kicked off its relationship with Philz by supporting a new-store opening, providing a clear process that involved gathering critical information to understand Philz Coffee's technology landscape. “The ingestion phase was well-organized, enabling a quick start,” says Mai. “Specific Gravity’s breadth and depth of experience was a nice surprise to us – managing all our access points, creating our different network segments, cybersecurity, and in-store security as well. They are very good at big-picture, but also great at going deep.” 

The new-store opening went so well that Philz expanded its relationship with Specific Gravity. “They went above and beyond on the new stores, and that was the catalyst for our long-term relationship,” says Mai. “Specific Gravity's experience in the hospitality space was instrumental in addressing Philz Coffee's pain points and prioritizing our needs.” 

Specific Gravity handled various tasks ranging from low-voltage cabling to speaker placements in new store builds, as well as providing help desk support for point-of-sale (POS) systems and store needs. Specific Gravity also provides a dedicated 24/7 technology department and ongoing support to keep multi-unit locations running, troubleshoot issues, and to monitor and remediate issues before they arise.

Impact of Specific Gravity on Philz Coffee

“Specific Gravity has helped us in so many ways. From the simplest task of troubleshooting a printer, to running a full technology refresh project, they do it all,” says Mai.

Time and Cost Savings: By entrusting Specific Gravity with project management and on-site support, Philz Coffee saved time and money. They eliminated the need to hire additional staff to handle technology support during operating hours. With its in-depth knowledge of Philz Coffee's environment, Specific Gravity responded quickly and efficiently to resolve issues. Additionally, they monitored circuits and collaborated with local exchange carriers (LECs) to troubleshoot outages promptly, further reducing downtime and associated costs.

Hassle-Free Support: Specific Gravity's comprehensive support extends beyond basic troubleshooting tasks, including managing technology refresh projects. Their end-to-end support alleviates the burden of coordinating multiple vendors or service providers. This hassle-free support allows Philz Coffee to focus on their core business, knowing that their technology needs are in capable hands.

Increased Efficiency: Specific Gravity's proactive approach and continuous monitoring of Philz Coffee's technology infrastructure ensure smooth operations. By preventing or swiftly addressing technical issues, they enable uninterrupted business activities. For instance, their support in Philz Coffee's roasting plant ensures that the technology functions optimally, allowing the seamless roasting, packaging, and shipping of products to stores and guests. This maximizes productivity and avoids disruptions that could impact revenue and customer satisfaction.

The Results

Specific Gravity's partnership with Philz Coffee has brought numerous benefits. “We've saved time and money as they handle the project management as well as the boots on the ground,” says Mai. “The average help desk response time is less than 60 seconds for priority calls, less than five minutes for medium priority, and less than 60 minutes for low priority. And we realize about 65 percent in annual savings by outsourcing 24/7 help desk coverage to Specific Gravity.”

In addition, Philz Coffee has recently started utilizing Specific Gravity’s video surveillance and alarm solutions for a national rollout project, to couple AI, POS data, and security footage to create actionable analytics. Mai is looking forward to another successful project and utilizing some of Specific Gravity’s other offerings, such as cybersecurity, to further enhance Philz Coffee’s overall infrastructure landscape and support.

By handling various technology-related tasks, Specific Gravity has not only saved Philz time and money, but also provided hassle-free support, increased operational efficiency, and safeguarded critical processes. Philz Coffee can focus on its aspirational goal of expanding nationwide, knowing that its technology needs are well-supported by Specific Gravity's expertise and dedicated services. 

Learn more at 

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds