Baristas are responsible for making and serving different types of caffeinated beverages in a wide array of locations. In this article, we are going to talk about the responsibilities and duties faced by people with the barista job description. We are also going to talk about topics like the qualifications and barista training needed for the profession. Read more about all of this in our article below.
Job Overview: What Does a Barista Professional Do?
Rising in popularity throughout the country, the barista job is far more complex than one might imagine. Since coffee is such a popular drink, it is very important to brew it just the right way. So, baristas have taken their craft to an art level. To over-simplify it, the barista job description involves making coffee and other caffeinated drinks and serving them to customers. Also, baristas must be able to keep their cool and work in very high-stress, fast-paced environment, all while keeping a smile on their faces.
Barista Job Duties
- Brewing all sorts of coffee and other caffeinated products.
- Welcoming customers into the establishment and taking their orders and payments.
- Making menu suggestions based on quick observations.
- Selling coffee, coffee grinding, and coffee brewing equipment.
- Explaining differences in coffee beans and coffee preparation methods.
- Following coffee recipes and preparation techniques.
- Keeping inventories fully stocked.
- Ordering pastries, cookies, and other similar products to be served with the coffee.
- Showing customers and colleagues how the brewing equipment works.
- Keeping equipment fully operational and following operating instructions.
- Keeping a safe and healthy work environment by following sanitation and organization standards.
- Studying, analyzing, redesigning processes, and constantly improving procedures and implementing changes.
- Cleaning and fixing up work areas, as well as creating and organizing stock displays.
- Describing new products and current promotions.
- Ensuring customer satisfaction, even if it means replacing products.
- Opening and closing the establishment.
Barista Job Essential Skills
Customer Service Skills. As baristas work closely with clients, they need to have a customer-oriented approach and possess excellent skills in this field. They also need to be outgoing and be able to satisfy the clients’ needs in a professional manner.
Problem Solving Skills. Issues such as mixed orders, technical problems or unpleased customers are part of this job, so professionals need to solve problems and work well under pressure.
Multi-Tasking Skills. Often baristas have to deal with multiple tasks at the same time, they need to be able to rise to the challenge. Taking orders, preparing hot beverages, decorating drinks and serving them are all part of the barista job description.
Prioritizing Skills. Even if the professional works in a neighborhood coffee shop or in a popular chain of shops, such as Starbucks, he will most likely face a crowded shop once in a while. Therefore, baristas must have a high attention span as well as be able to prioritize in order to satisfy all customers in a timely fashion.
Becoming a Barista Professional
The barista job description does not require a specific degree or course. However, experience in a similar position is a plus. The person striving for this job should have a very customer service-oriented personality, high levels of hand-eye coordination, and even a measure of artistic talent. This is because baristas frequently have to make drinks look just like those in the menu. Plus, some coffee shops choose to offer coffee art, which are those little drawings on top.
Qualifications & Training
Generally, there are very few educational requirements for baristas. They usually range from none whatsoever to a high school diploma or a GED. However, those interested in advancing in their career in the field might consider some college courses. This is because one cannot occupy a management position without at least taking some courses in hospitality or business management.
As for the training provided to individuals with the barista job, it ranges from nonexistent to mandatory. Small coffee shops prefer to just show their new employees around the shop, assuming that they know how to serve coffee. Bigger venues, such as Starbucks, perform on-the-job training so as to familiarize their employees with procedures as quickly as possible.
Usually, baristas don’t gather all that much experience in a single workplace because, for example, the neighborhood coffee shop barista job duties will differ greatly from the Starbucks barista job duties. Still, there are plenty of duties which will remain the same from one workplace to another. These professionals usually move on to other functions in under five years. Other functions can either be internal (in the same company) or external. Some even attend international barista competitions.
The barista salary also grows with experience, as many get higher positions in the same company. The beginner’s salary for this job is at $19,685 per year. But, after a few years, someone starting out as a barista can become a branch manager with a much higher wage.
We have to start off this section by mentioning that the barista job can be both full-time and part-time. So, the average full-time barista works anywhere between 35 and 40 hours a week. Meanwhile, part-time baristas usually work somewhere between 20 and 30 hours a week.
Most people with the barista job description work shifts. The shifts have to cover both opening and closing hours. Plus, many baristas also have to work nights, weekends, and even some holidays.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average employment rate for food and beverage serving and related workers, such as baristas, to go up 14% by 2026, meaning about 694,300 new job openings. Which is much faster than the average for all jobs in the US. This is owed to several factors, both intrinsically and extrinsically tied to the barista job description.
For one, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the United States. About 50% of the entire population drinks the brew, and 2016 saw 24,000 coffee shops across the country. Within the next few years, that number will reach more than 50,000. So, it’s only natural that the request for baristas went up so much.
Since they help improve our day every time we don’t feel like making our own coffee, baristas are very much appreciated. The barista job description is complex, but it requires no exact qualifications. Therefore, the employment rate is expected to go up very quickly over the next few years. We also recommend reading the waitress job description for a full overview of the field.