Career Development

What Does a Barista Do?

Find out what a barista does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a barista.

Baristas are the people who make your coffee, steam milk, and serve you a cup of joe. They’re often the face of a coffee shop or restaurant—they greet customers, take orders, and provide customer service while making drinks behind the counter.

Baristas need to have strong interpersonal skills in order to interact with customers on a daily basis. They also need to be detail-oriented and organized so that they can effectively juggle multiple tasks at once.

Barista Job Duties

A barista typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing coffee, espresso, tea, or other beverages by hand or machine
  • Cleaning equipment and work stations between uses to ensure sanitation standards are met
  • Making recommendations to customers about drink selections that suit their tastes
  • Recording drink orders in a logbook or computerized system for future reference
  • Preparing and serving food items such as sandwiches, salads, and other snacks
  • Upselling products such as smoothies, snacks, or alcoholic beverages to increase sales revenue
  • Preparing coffee beans for grinding and brewing using machines such as espresso machines and drip coffee makers
  • Explaining the process of making coffee or other beverages to customers who are unfamiliar with it
  • Maintaining an inventory of supplies such as coffee beans, filters, cups, mugs, and sweeteners

Barista Salary & Outlook

Baristas are typically paid an hourly wage, which can vary depending on a number of factors. Baristas working in coffee shops with more experience and higher ratings may earn more than baristas working for less established companies.

  • Median Annual Salary: $25,000 ($12.02/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of baristas is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

The continued growth of coffee shops is expected to lead to more jobs for baristas. As coffee shops expand their menus to include food and nonalcoholic beverages, baristas will be needed to prepare these items as well as traditional coffee drinks.

Barista Job Requirements

A barista typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Baristas typically need only a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a barista course. These courses teach baristas the basics of preparing coffee drinks, including the correct way to brew coffee, steam milk and use espresso machines.

Training & Experience: Baristas typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include learning the specific coffee-making methods and equipment the establishment uses, as well as the preferred brewing methods for each type of coffee. Baristas may also learn how to clean and maintain the coffee-making equipment.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications prove an individual’s qualifications to current and prospective employers. Baristas can earn certifications to show their understanding of specialty coffees and the safe handling of food.

Barista Skills

Baristas need the following skills in order to be successful:

Customer service: Customer service skills can help you interact with customers and answer their questions. As a barista, you may be the first person a customer interacts with when they enter a coffee shop. Your customer service skills can help you welcome customers, answer their questions and make them feel comfortable.

Attention to detail: Baristas need to be able to notice small details in order to make drinks correctly. They need to be able to read drink orders and make the correct drink. They also need to be able to read a coffee machine to know when to stop brewing a drink.

Creativity: Baristas use creativity when creating drink specials, designing drink menus and creating drink garnishes. Creativity is also important when it comes to remembering drink orders and suggesting new drinks to customers.

Patience: Patience is a necessary skill for baristas, as it allows them to provide quality service to their customers. Baristas should be able to handle stressful situations with calmness and composure. This can help them provide quality service to their customers and keep them happy.

Multitasking: Baristas often need to multitask, as they often have many customers to serve at the same time. This means that they need to be able to serve multiple customers at the same time, while also preparing drinks and keeping the bar area clean. Being able to multitask can help you be more efficient at your job.

Barista Work Environment

Baristas typically work in coffee shops, where they take customers’ orders and prepare and serve coffee and other drinks. They may also work in restaurants, cafes, or other food service establishments. Baristas typically work full time, although some may work part time, evenings, or weekends. Some baristas may be required to work early morning or overnight shifts. The work can be fast paced and sometimes stressful, especially during busy times. Baristas must be able to multitask and stay calm under pressure. They must also be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining a high level of customer service.

Barista Trends

Here are three trends influencing how baristas work. Baristas will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of Third Wave Coffee

The third wave of coffee is a movement that focuses on the quality of coffee beans and the brewing process. This trend has led to an increased demand for specialty coffee, which has in turn led to a rise in barista jobs.

As more and more people are interested in drinking high-quality coffee, baristas will need to be able to brew it properly. They will also need to be knowledgeable about the different types of coffee beans available and how they affect the taste of the coffee.

Coffee Shops as Community Centers

Coffee shops have traditionally been seen as places to get a quick cup of coffee before work or school. However, this is changing as more and more people are seeing them as community centers where they can socialize with friends, meet new people, or just relax.

Baristas who are able to create a welcoming atmosphere in their shop will be more successful than those who do not. They should also be prepared to offer more than just coffee, such as pastries and other snacks.

More Focus on Quality Ingredients

The coffee industry is growing rapidly, and with it comes a focus on quality ingredients. This means that baristas will need to be familiar with the latest trends in coffee brewing and be able to source high-quality beans.

In order to stand out from the competition, baristas will need to be able to provide customers with a unique experience. This can be done by offering specialty drinks that use high-quality ingredients, or by providing information about the coffee beans that they are using.

How to Become a Barista

A career as a barista can be a great way to get started in the coffee industry. It’s a job that requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it can also be a lot of fun. As a barista, you’ll learn about different types of coffee, how to make delicious espresso drinks, and how to serve customers. You’ll also develop customer service skills and become familiar with the coffee shop business.

If you want to become a barista, start by learning as much as you can about coffee. Read articles and watch videos about different types of coffee beans and brewing methods. Try making different types of coffee at home so that you can see what works best for you. Also, practice making espresso drinks so that you’re comfortable behind the bar.

When you’re ready to apply for jobs, look for opportunities at local coffee shops. Make sure your resume includes information about your experience with coffee and customer service.

Related: How to Write a Barista Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of coffee. One of the best is to start your own coffee shop. This can be a very rewarding experience, but it is not for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion to be a successful coffee shop owner.

Another way to advance in the coffee industry is to become a coffee roaster. This is a great way to learn more about coffee and to develop your own unique blends. Coffee roasters often start out as baristas and then move up the ladder.

There are also many management positions available in the coffee industry. These positions often require experience as a barista, but they can be very rewarding. If you are interested in management, you should look into becoming a store manager, a district manager, or even a regional manager.

Barista Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we take coffee seriously. We’re looking for a barista who shares our passion for coffee and commitment to excellence. As a barista at [CompanyX], you’ll be responsible for crafting coffee drinks to order, maintaining a clean and organized work space, and providing outstanding customer service. The ideal candidate will have prior experience as a barista, as well as a deep knowledge of coffee brewing methods, flavor profiles, and drink preparation. He or she will be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure, with a positive attitude and a smile.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Prepare and serve coffee drinks, including espresso, cappuccino, latte, Americano, and iced beverages according to company recipes and standards
  • Maintain cleanliness throughout the café area, including sweeping, mopping, wiping down surfaces, taking out trash, and cleaning restrooms
  • Greet customers entering the café and take their orders in a friendly and efficient manner
  • Operate cash register and handle transactions accurately and efficiently
  • Prepare food items, such as sandwiches and pastries, according to company recipes and standards
  • Stock café shelves and display cases with fresh food items
  • Keep track of inventory and place orders for supplies when necessary
  • Follow all safety and sanitation guidelines when handling food and beverage items
  • Assist with opening and closing duties, such as setting up the café for the day and cleaning up at the end of the night
  • Train new baristas on company policies and procedures
  • Provide excellent customer service at all times, resolving complaints in a professional and courteous manner
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven customer service experience in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time and lift up to 50 pounds
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Basic math skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Previous barista or coffee shop experience
  • Knowledge of specialty coffee drinks
  • Creativity and latte art skills
  • Coffee brewing certification
  • Familiarity with POS systems

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