A Barista is someone who makes and serves coffee and coffee-based beverages. Sometimes people as if a barista is someone who makes coffee, the answer is yes in most countries. Coffee-based beverages include espresso and drinks made from espressos such as lattes, cappuccino, and iced coffee beverages.
When we visit coffee shops and we are served with a smile and a wink we automatically think that it’s just about serving coffee. The truth is, there is more to it and just like every other job, a barista job needs skills.
Barista skills are the talents and abilities you need to work at a coffee shop. Working as a barista requires specialized knowledge of coffee and other coffee shop products as well as customer service and communication skills for working with a team of coworkers and the public.
Most baristas often have more responsibilities than making coffee and taking orders, so there is a degree of flexibility required for these positions, and below are 16 important Barista Skills Employers are looking for right now.
- Customer service
Excellent customer service skills are one of the important skills a barista should possess. This skill simply entails that one has to be polite and helpful to the customers, acknowledging regular customers, working to resolve issues quickly even when it requires extra work, and friendly even in difficult situations. An excellent customer service experience can mean more business for that shop and greater tips for the barista. By working hard to give customers a good experience, the barista helps both himself and the coffee shop.
- Coffee knowledge
To be a barista one is expected to have basic knowledge of coffee A barista should know the difference between coffee and espresso drinks like lattes, Americanos, flat whites, cold brews, and cappuccinos.
As a barista becomes more experienced, knowledge of things like roasting and grinding practices, how coffee beans are sourced, and what the differences are in the flavors of various kinds of coffees can be very helpful for the customers they serve their employer.
- Attention to detail
Attention to detail is an important skill that enables a barista to make fewer mistakes and improve the customer’s experience. Remembering what a regular customer orders every day can make that person feel valued and more likely to continue to come to that coffee shop.
Good Memory and Product Knowledge is a skill that sets a barista apart and helps improve customer service. There is a popular belief that a good Barista is a therapist that serves coffee.
Teamwork is a skill that applies to almost every job and a Barista’s job is no different. At peak hours for a coffee shop, there can be many employees working together to fill orders, which makes teamwork necessary to keep customers happy.
Multitasking is a skill that allows a barista to handle many tasks at once, which is essential for a coffee shop. Many other skills listed can improve the multitasking skill, such as attention to detail and teamwork, so that the barista can complete all necessary duties quickly.
At one time, a barista may need to take orders, operate the cash register, communicate orders to coworkers, fulfill orders, answer the phone and deliver orders to the customer.
If it’s a particularly busy time at the coffee shop, multitasking keeps orders moving quickly, which makes customers happy after all a happy customer means a heavy tip.
- Cash management
Most baristas need to be able to use a cash register or point of sale (POS) system, making cash management an important part of the position. Most coffee shops have graduated from the usual handwritten notes to point of sales system especially the big coffee shops with a wide range of branches and customers.
- Consistent Attendance
Consistent attendance means being present at work on time and scheduled days. To have consistent attendance, the individual must be in uniform at their place of work on time repeatedly. Achieving this proves an employee’s reliability and is a large part of potential promotions and pay raises.
- Fancy Coffee Designs
There is something about coffee designs that just want to make your order for more. It’s not all Baristas that can do amazing designs on coffee with cream and that’s okay but it’s an added skill. So being able to make creative and good designs on a coffee makes the customer happy.
All Hiring managers expect that their baristas show up to work on time and be professional, responsible employees. A good barista hoping to work long term and learn is expected to have this skill and it includes Following Instructions, Punctuality, and Reliability.
- Technical Skills
This is an important skill for a Barista, most hiring managers will ask if an applicant has an understanding of coffee including varieties, origins, and processing methods. How to correctly use and care for your equipment. Milk techniques include foaming and latte art patterns. How to use the right amount of coffee and water, and get the right grind texture.
A barista’s job is a good opportunity to develop valuable leadership skills. Leadership skills can be demonstrated at any level and aren’t just reserved for managers.
A barista can show their leadership skills by taking the initiative to make suggestions about how things can be improved, make suggestions on products to use, how to serve the customers better, etc.
They can also encourage and motivate other team members when work gets tough. Leadership skills can also be displayed by providing feedback about what is working with customers as well as areas for improvement.
This is one skill that is normally overlooked but essential because a barista who is organized will make the job easier no matter how stressful the day is. Efficiently serving customers at busy periods demands proven processes similar to an assembly line.
If a barista fails at their part of the assembly line, the whole system could collapse. Being organized also means that a barista should know where to keep his equipment like the coffee cup, flavor syrup, and coffee beans so he/She doesn’t waste time getting them.
Coffee shop owners and managers want employees that customers feel comfortable with. Regardless of the level of knowledge, you have regarding coffee preparation, you are expected to be confident immediately you start working as a barista.
He/She is expected to know the ins and outs of creating brews, which will help turn them into masters of the café’s menu items. This, in turn, will help you prepare beverages and make recommendations that will impress your customers and help ensure they come again.
- Ability to Handle Tension
Coffee shops are busy places,both in movies and real life, it is portrayed as a place for everyone and that can’t be argued because we all need coffee to survive good coffee. A great barista needs to be able to stay calm under pressure and to maintain their customer service skills even when things are really busy. The ability to handle pressure will make you a valuable resource in a busy coffee shop, as well as a great team player.
- An Eye For Health, Safety and Hygiene
This is a crucial skill for Baristas, especially during this Covid period, Working in a coffee shop means you need to have good health and safety skills, which include a clean apron, a net over the head, and a secured nose mask. Having a sound knowledge of health issues, hygiene, and how to keep you and your customers safe creates an inviting environment that your customers will trust.
- Positive Attitude
A positive attitude can be defined as a mindset and a thought process that expects favorable results. It means being optimistic about situations, outcomes, interactions, and yourself.
Having a positive attitude means expecting the best under all circumstances and here although the last skill on the list is as important as every other skill.
Most people come into the coffee shop tired, pissed and exhausted and sometimes pour out their anger and frustration on the barista. The ability to stay calm and keep smiling is important for every Barista.