New Dutch Bros CTO Talks Company Growth
On Dec. 1, Leigh Gower became Dutch Bros Coffee’s first chief technology officer. The announcement came less than three months after the company released an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
As the Dutch Bros expands to new markets, Gower says her role at the company is to use technology in a way that enhances the user and employee experience and deliver the same company culture no matter where the Dutch Bros expands.
Right before stepping into her role at Dutch Bros, Gower did a 13-month stint as technology vice president at online jewelry retailer the Blue Nile. Before that, Gower served as senior director of product & technology at T-Mobile, and as a management consultant at Slalom Consulting.
Gower spoke with Oregon Business about her new role, how tech fits into the company’s plans for expansion — and how Dutch Bros can protect its customer and employee data against cybercrime.
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Is There a Dutch Bros Straw Code?
There are rumors of a Dutch Bros Straw Code The company has yet to recognize it; however, many have claimed that it is there. You’ve likely seen someone receiving colored straws while enjoying coffee at a café and thought about how the straw functions. Below are some ideas and details regarding this straw code. Here are some popular reasons for people to get colored or white straws. Learn more here!
You might be wondering what you can find out about the Dutch Bros Straw Code. It’s a secret method used by employees to share with the customers their secrets. The straws are available in various colors, and each has a distinct significance. Most of the time, they provide yellow and pink straws, and however, you may also get them in other shades. However, although they’re not a secret, some feel that this is a snarky way to interact with clients.
Your position was created shortly after Dutch Bros launched its IPO. As Dutch Bros’ first CTO, what will be your role as the company expands?
You can’t go public as a company unless the technology is at the core of what you’re doing.
As we anticipate our growth going forward, technology needs to play a bigger role to ensure experiences are frictionless and communication is seamless. What I am chartered with is protecting and preserving our culture as we get bigger, and grow our technology ecosystem around our employees.
What role does technology play?
It’s my job to empower our team members to do what they do best. There’s technology in the shop that we can make more efficient and automate within that tiny space so our team members can spend more time focusing on the customer.
There’s also technology in HR that employees use to manage their benefits and their company information. All of these things can be made to have less friction for the end-user.
If you’ve ever been an Apple customer, they are very good at the interface and how to use apps so you can do whatever it is you want to do. They nail the simplistic end-user experience. You switch from that to Android or Windows and you struggle.