There are many ways to be an effective barista. First and foremost is getting the proper barista training as well as just going out and “doing it”! We've interviewed many coffee shop owners and collected some great advice on how to be the best barista you can be. Read our barista training checklist, which will allow you to become a great barista.
Below are several important points to maximize your effectiveness as a barista:
#1 Leave Your Troubles at Home
Being an effective barista means leaving your home life – at home. Customers really, really – really – don’t want to hear about your ex-boyfriend texting you or your drama with your roommate. They are coming in and paying for coffee that approximately cost 300% more than what they would have to pay if they simply brewed it at home.
#2 Experiment with Coffee But Always Remember the Coffee Bean
A good barista appreciates coffee. And excellent barista respects the love and effort that the farmer and the coffee roaster put into their craft of delivering you, the barista, the bean. While customers will ask for a bunch of off-the-wall drinks – many of which serve to hide the coffee, deep down an excellent barista appreciates the beauty of that coffee bean that is drowned out by our customers.
If you customer asks for a recommendation, consider going back to the basics – but don’t hesitate to experiment. Coffee is meant to be enjoyed in a variety of ways. You may need to nudge your customers to find the essence of good coffee again.
#3 Put Your Customers First
Your customers are the reason you get paid every week – and why you walk out with a pocket full of tips after each shift (depending on where you work). Doing your job doesn’t mean you’ve earned your tip. Your customers are there to connect with other coffee lovers – including you – and may also be interested in trying something new.
Exceed their expectation and provide them with a coffee experience. It doesn't matter if you work at a “hole in the wall” coffee place, if you got the passion, your customers will know it… they'll remember it…they'll reward you for it… and they will come back.
#4 Participate in Coffee Cupping Regularly
Coffee cuppings can be an incredible way to develop your palate. The act and the process (tasting and engaging coffee with your friends or complete strangers) can also help you describe what the coffee tastes like to you. In turn, it may also help you to better articulate or describe the variety of coffees you may be serving to your customer.
#5: Figure Out Ways to Save Your Boss Money
Are you seeing wasteful spending? Are you noticing something that is being continuously thrown out and wasting money?
Look for ways to save money and you will be indispensable. If you see a problem that is wasting your café money, figure it out and bring it to the attention of your boss.
By helping your boss and organization save money, you become a more effective employee. It may help you gain financial rewards, and certainly help you sustain the coffee business you are working for.
#6: Get Clarification About Comp Drinks (Free drinks)
It’s very typical that baristas allowed comp drinks per shift. Sometimes an owner will allow one or two drinks per shift. Get clarification. Most importantly don’t abuse the privilege.
#7: Continue Your Barista Training
You can never get enough barista training. Refresh your barista skills. Consider our affordable online barista training course. But even if you don't go with our affordable barista training program, find a way to get your barista training and refresher course.
Barista Training Academy is your premiere online barista training resource for learning how to be a barista, how to land a job as barista, and all the aspects of starting your career in retail coffee. For more information visit our blog.