Cafe Entrepreneurship

6 reasons why you need to train a barista

Female barista pouring latte

Barista training is a worthwhile investment of time, effort, and resources.

Removing it from the equation is like plugging out a well-oiled machine from the power outlet. You may have the best ingredients sourced, the best recipes, or the coziest cafe interior. But if your baristas do not know what they’re doing, then all of your other efforts will be in vain.

Do you want your customers to keep coming back? Consistency is key, and it can be maintained by a well-trained barista. Here are more reasons why you need to train your baristas.

1. A barista should know the ins and outs of a cafe operation

From opening preps to organizing working stations, from readying the POS system to machine maintenance, from inventory to replenishing stocks, and more.

One barista is not expected to do all of these tasks, but extra skills like these come in handy. Most importantly, you need a barista who knows how to craft a good beverage.

When opening a cafe, hire someone who knows what they are doing. Expecting a cafe service with consistent brewing quality, milk steaming, and latte art making– but all without the necessary skills is like looking for improbables. 

Aside from these skills, a barista should know how to handle equipment (machine setup and cleanup), use a machine (running shots, flushing out, etc), and the variables in grinding and brewing adjustments. If done right, the equipment you invested in will be well-maintained. More importantly, your barista will serve a great coffee. 

2. A barista should imbibe the cafe’s personality 

Your cafe’s branding (including vision, mission, cafe values, and philosophy) is what you developed for a cohesive product offering and service. It should be consistent with your barista. For example, Barista A is friendly and approachable, but Barista B is grumpy. If so, no matter how hard you strive to maintain the branding, there is no assurance that negative reviews won’t come in. 

3. A barista should follow coffee handling standards

In line with being consistent, barista training will help in making sure production standards are met, and the results are uniform. Responsible baristas apply what they know, their basic skills, and correct handling. If a barista is well-trained, concocting innovative recipes follow coffee handling standards and exceed expectations. You are serving quality coffee while ensuring that no resource is wasted.

4. A barista should understand basic cafe operations

Good training teaches a barista to get a good grasp of the following:

  • Importance of inventory management and how to do it
  • Calibration and maintenance of espresso machines
  • Simple troubleshooting (or knowing when to have machines serviced)
  • Effective salesmanship

Moreover, a responsible barista follows a schedule for maintenance religiously (whether daily, monthly, semi-annually, or annually). Baristas should also know that extracting, tamping, stretching, and backflushing is more than just pushing buttons. They understand the actual science behind every process. Thus, machines are also handled properly.

5. A barista should know how to sell coffee

Trainings teach baristas how to sell the cup of coffee they create.

What’s a good coffee without effective salesmanship? To entice customers to make a purchase, a barista can address questions about a certain beverage’s taste, texture, and overall characteristics. A good barista can accurately describe flavor profiles, origins, grinding sizes, and roasting colors (Here is an article to know more about roasting). In effect, they are able to recommend a drink that matches customers’ taste buds. This helps build great customer service which can increase customer satisfaction! 

6. Training opportunities

Are you a barista? Enrolling in coffee training can set you apart from other job competitors. You can highlight it in your resume! 

It helps you develop empowerment, commitment, and allows you to find great opportunities. 

Confidence in your work keeps you dedicated to bringing superb quality coffee. By learning and improving skills, you are building the courage to take on new challenges. 

I agree with the reasons… So how do I start?

Schedule barista training. Enroll your staff in batch classes or have specialized barista short courses through coffee educators. With it, you are making barista training closely available to your staff. 

Barista training can be an ongoing training, regularly-scheduled program. If you expect that they’ll leave the job anyway, this lessens the risk of barista turnover by creating this two-way beneficial program.

They’re your greatest asset. You are relying on them to serve great coffee in your cafe. 

Make contracts. Let’s face it, trainings are not a low-cost investment. You can create contracts stating the period of time needed to stay or recompensation agreements. It protects both parties and you can include clauses stating agreements on a potential resignation or cease of operations. 

Follow their progress. Oversee and evaluate their performance. Knowing their progress over time will eventually translate to sales reports – you can even provide them either bonuses or a salary increase! 

Appreciate your baristas

They are your passionate teammates in serving the great coffee you love to more people. 

Regular barista training helps in building a reliable and well-founded barista team. This way, you can trust that your standards and brand identity are followed.

Keep in mind: good management starts with the right motivations, actions, and decisions. So make sure to set a good example. It will make a more confident barista team, and you will reap the rewards in terms of sales.

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