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How To Become a Barista in 6 Steps

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The food service industry has a range of job opportunities for those looking to work in cafes or coffee houses. Baristas prepare coffee or tea beverages and interact with customers on a daily basis. Understanding the job of a barista, the necessary skills and the career path can help you determine if becoming a barista is the right choice for your food service career.In this article, we show you how to become a barista, review what a barista does, highlight their average salary expectations and list common skills for a barista position.

How to become a barista

If you want to learn how to become a barista, you can follow these seven steps:

1. Research coffee terms and their meanings

Before you obtain education or seek employment, be sure to refresh your knowledge of common terminology related to coffee and barista responsibilities. For example, learn about the different types of coffee and what they mean, including cappuccino, Americano, espresso, macchiato or latte. This can help you acclimate more quickly to the fast-paced environment where the names of drinks determine their ingredients.Related: How To Write a Barista Resume Objective (With Examples)

2. Purchase equipment to practice at home

If you’re passionate about coffee and enjoy drinking coffee, you can purchase one or more pieces of professional equipment to practice in your own home. This may include an espresso machine, coffee grinder or milk frother. You can have both fresh coffee at home and a training center to master your barista skills and familiarity with various coffee varieties before applying for a position.Related: Learn About Being a Barista https://agata.id/

3. Take an online barista course

There’s a wide a range of online courses and tutorial videos available to prospective baristas that allow them to increase their skills and learn how to make a variety of coffee beverages. You can take a course on your own time to receive a barista certification that gives you professional credibility. Since becoming a barista doesn’t require formal education, tutorials can be a useful supplement for learning the nuances of the position and types of drink you may provide for customers.Related: 8 Barista Tools and How To Use Them (Plus FAQs)

4. Practice taking orders for friends and family

Using what you’ve learned about preparing coffee beverages, you can ask family or friends to test your skills. You can take their orders, receive special instructions and make beverages for them to review. Their feedback can help you refine your technique and customer service skills and allows you to make necessary mistakes for the learning process without the pressure of a workplace.Related: 33 Common Barista Interview Questions

5. Review barista requirements for different coffee shops

Different coffee shops have different requirements for baristas. It’s important that you research locally owned or chain cafes in your area to learn what skill level, hours and training local employers might require. While one employer requires previous barista experience, another may want someone with no prior experience that they can train to prepare their menu.Related: How To Write a Barista Cover Letter With No Experience

6. Obtain a job as a cashier or busser in a coffee shop

If the cafes in your area require prior experience working in cafes, consider starting work as a table busser, server or cashier to prove your skills. In this role, you may also be able to receive training from baristas to prepare certain drinks. You can work a few extra hours to train on barista equipment and learn the coffee and hot drink menu to better position yourself as a suitable candidate for a barista position.Related: How To Find Weekend Jobs in 9 Steps (With Examples)

What does a barista do?

A barista works alongside other baristas and serving staff in cafes, coffee houses or coffee shops to make caffeinated beverages and serve food items. A barista’s responsibilities might include the following:

  • Interacting with customers in a personable manner
  • Processing customer payments via card or cash using a POS system
  • Taking time to practice recipes for new or seasonal menu items
  • Recommending new coffee beverages to customers
  • Using cafe equipment like espresso machines, coffee grinders or frothing pitchers
  • Heating baked goods or breakfast sandwiches and packaging them for customers
  • Receiving constructive feedback from customers and remaking coffee drinks according to their needs

Related: What Is a Barista? Definition and Job Description

The average salary for baristas

A barista’s pay scale typically depends on the company for which they work. For example, baristas working for national or international chains may receive higher pay than those working in small or local cafes. Also, a barista’s pay scale may depend on whether they work full-time or part-time. Here’s a description of this professional’s average salary:

  • Average salary: $14.08 per hour or $32,933 per year
  • Extra income: Ability to earn an additional $17.00 in tips per shift

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.

Skills for baristas

Baristas need a wide variety of hard (technical) and soft (interpersonal) skills to complete their job duties effectively. Here are common skills and characteristics paired with examples of why they’re important to baristas:

Detail-oriented

Being detail-oriented is important for baristas as they need to adjust measurements for coffee, flavoring syrup, whipped cream or milk depending on the size or type of coffee drink. Baristas also need to be detail-oriented as it allows them to make slight adjustments to menu items depending on a customer’s request or dietary restrictions. For example, if a customer asks for a cinnamon latte with almond milk due to their dairy allergy, a barista’s ability to remember and apply those adjustments ensures they fulfill their customer’s health needs.Related: Barista Cover Letter Sample

Multitasking

Multitasking is the process by which an individual oversees more than one task at a time. This is particularly important for baristas as they need to be able to prepare multiple orders at a time. A barista’s ability to multitask can have an impact on wait time and customer satisfaction.Related: 17 Important Customer Service Skills (With Examples)

Patience

Baristas need to have patience, especially when a customer has a specific preference on how to prepare their drink. Their ability to be patient with customers allows them to deliver excellent customer service. For example, a barista demonstrates patience with a customer when they return to the bar for a second time claiming their drink is incorrect.

Communication

Baristas interact with a variety of people on a daily basis. The way they present themselves to customers can have an effect on customer satisfaction. For example, a barista can take the time to ask customers for their names and always have an inviting, positive attitude. Because of this, the cafe they work for can maintain a consistent stream of regular customers. Solid communication skills can help baristas have positive interactions with their coworkers to uphold a healthy work environment.

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