I started as an espresso barista and then ran cafes in Australia. So, I understand how crucial it is to hire the right staff for your cafe. Your cafe’s success will depend on the type of staff you choose.
Although there are certain skills that all baristas need to know (e.g., enough time on the job, the right personality and a love for customer service), there are also some qualities that may make someone a better fit for your particular cafe than others. Square-peg, round-hole stuff.
Your hiring manager and you will determine what your unique skills are. Are you looking for a bustling, lively cafe that allows customers to chat with staff, or one that is quiet and ‘escapes from the noise of this world’?
Need a Barista receives thousands of applications every year and interviews hundreds of baristas for our team.
We have our 10-point accreditation program for baristas to ensure they have all the necessary foundation skills. However, we also want to encourage a broad range of personality traits that make our industry exciting, vibrant, and varied.
We’ll be looking at the basic skills and attributes that staff members need before we can move on to the specific skills that will best match the personality of your cafe.
Based on thousands of hours spent interviewing baristas and talking to cafe owners, here are the top 10 things you should look out for when hiring a barista.
- Personality. It’s simple, but it is not something that can be taught. I’d rather have a barista with great personality than a wet fish-eating deadpan guy. Although skills can be taught, personality is hard to teach.
- Reliability. They must show up on-time, every time. Excuses can be cheap, but a great barista ….willbe there.
- Efficiency and speed. Everything. They must be able handle high volumes of mornings efficiently.
- Passion for specialty coffee. I am looking for someone passionate about coffee and can research it when they have the time. Great chefs do this, and it’s also true for great baristas.
- Excellent communication skills. When necessary, be loud or quiet. In a busy cafe, it is important to have a basic understanding of the body language and communication styles. This brings me to my next point.
- Play well with other. This is crucial. Hospitality is a team sport. It will be a difficult task if your staff doesn’t get along.
- Attention to detail. It’s simple but essential. Perfect coffee is essential. Repeatedly.
- Honesty. This is huge. This is huge.
- Salesmanship. Yes, I want my baristas to talk to customers about our cafe’s offerings and then sell them. This can make a big difference in your cafe’s bottom line. Do they make a good seller?
- Multitasking. This is obvious, but a barista who can effortlessly manage multiple tasks sustainably is a great asset to any coffee shop. It isn’t easy to teach. Hire it when you see it.
This is a basic list, but it does not include the skills required to run your cafe. It will make your life easier if you have these qualities in your baristas or customer service staff.