Imagine being a newly hired or promoted manager at Caribou Coffee, eagerly stepping into your role. Who’s there to greet you with open arms and ensure your success? It’s none other than a Training General Manager (TGM) who takes pride in providing a positive first experience. TGMs equip new leaders with all the knowledge and resources they need to conquer their coffeehouses like champions!
Step into the world of one of our TGMs and meet Toni Lozancic. With his infectious energy and love for all things coffee, Toni is the epitome of a Caribou Coffee leader. Not only does he train other managers in the company, but he also creates a ripple effect of goodness in his community. You’ll currently find Toni managing a cabin in northern Minnesota, but his journey with Caribou Coffee has taken him to various locations since he became a General Manager in 2017. It’s clear that Toni’s passion for training, communication, coffee and community fuels his drive to excel as a TGM.
However, Toni’s success isn’t solely his own – he’s quick to attribute a significant part of his achievements to his dedicated team members. Their unwavering support, collaborative spirit, and shared passion for coffee have been integral components in the impressive legacy that Toni continues to build within Caribou Coffee.
We sat down with Toni to get a glimpse into his world of training and how it ties all his passions together. With a twinkle in his eye and an iced Americano in hand, he shared his stories of guiding new leaders, fostering a sense of camaraderie, and spreading joy one cup of coffee at a time. His enthusiasm is contagious, and it’s no wonder his team and community hold him in such high regard.
How do you normally start your day?
“I usually start my day with two shots of espresso while I’m doing espresso quality checks in the early morning.”
What is the best part of your day?
“Definitely getting home to play with my two daughters! But I also take pride in knowing that I made a difference at work as well, whether it is a great guest interaction or a peer that asks a question. I enjoy being able to teach someone how to be successful at Caribou and create a great experience for others.”
Let’s talk about training. What do you think is the most important aspect of training new leaders?
“Training can prepare you for things, but not necessarily everything you will encounter. So, it’s important to be resilient, flexible and organized! Organization is really important, but as a trainer, I take it in stride when the training plan doesn’t work out the way I initially thought. We have to be able to pivot.”
Toni is responsible for more than just training and managing daily operations in his store. He also is an integral part of his district’s success, reviewing labor and sales forecasts and monitoring training completion for his district peers. When asked how he juggles all those responsibilities and still finds time for self-care and work-life balance, he said, “It’s tough. But calendaring is where it’s at! Though I’m not as good at it as my wife is. I make time to fit in self-care, like playing soccer or spending time with my daughters.”
What advice would you give someone who was interested in becoming a TGM at Caribou?
“If you enjoy helping others and have good communication skills, you should just do it. It’s fun! You become the face of the company and get to create day-making experiences for so many people.”
So, the next time you visit a Caribou Coffee coffeehouse in northern Minnesota, keep an eye out for Toni. You might catch him in action, training future leaders and bringing a dash of playfulness to the world of coffee. Remember, with leaders like Toni at Caribou’s helm, every sip is a delightful escape, and every visit can be a day-making experience!