Barista is a word that comes from the Italian language, and it refers to a specialist who prepares espresso and coffee cocktails based on it. That is, loved by millions of lattes, americanos, cappuccinos. In translation, it will sound like “the man behind the counter”, but the term is still interpreted already. Technically, the barista is only responsible for making coffee, working with the coffee machine, other functions are delegated to him by the management (or not).
Barista is a relevant profession, quite in demand and hung with labels. Someone believes that only students who do not claim special career growth can do it. Someone is sure that you can learn this in one day, and all courses are a whim and extortion of money.
Someone does not understand at all why what the bartender used to do is now assigned to another staff unit.
The profession of a barista is still quite young, because all these labels and stereotypes have a place. Yes, and more than 30 years ago, people in coffee shops, bars, cafes made coffee, but this was just one task from a professional list. But the emergence of a chain of coffee shops that spread all over the world, became popular and more than recognizable, led to the fact that the history of the profession started. Now often customers go not so much to a specific cafe as to a specific barista. Specialists are gaining fame for themselves, they are even being interviewed.
Pros of the profession:
- creative component;
- relatively easy to get a job;
- work to provide services — gratitude for work is expressed not only in receiving salaries, but also in kind words from customers;
- more or less simple entry into the profession;
- new acquaintances and the so-called guild solidarity;
- a great place for those who love coffee very much;
- availability of training.
Disadvantages of the profession:
- the ambiguity of professional prospects (both the opportunity to become a famous barista, and the inability to jump above this position);
- the whole shift on your feet;
- the salary is not the highest;
- sometimes irregular schedule;
- it will not be easy for an introvert — there are many faces and contacts;
- accuracy, responsiveness, switching attention — all this should be on the list of professional tools, but not everyone can boast of this.
Of course, the search for pros and cons does not really matter if a person is sincerely interested in the profession and sees himself clearly in it.
It is worth noting that until now, many specialists, when applying for a job, do not read the vacancy the way it should be done. But if there is no specifics there, if the duties are charged with what the barista should not do a priori, this can cause conflicts with the management in the future.
The barista is engaged in both the preparation of natural coffee from grains and the creation of drinks based on it.
What does a specialist do?
- fulfillment of customer orders;
- advice on the choice of drinks;
- calculation of revenue and its delivery to the cashier after the shift;
- preparation of purchase requisitions;
- selection of coffee varieties.
And now a little more. A barista does not just make coffee, he must be well versed in it, distinguish Arabica from Robusta, know the varieties and their characteristics. He must be able to handle the coffee machine, which is the main tool of the barista. It also works with coffee grinders, both manual and automatic. He monitors the condition of the equipment, keeping it clean.
Whipping milk, drawing on coffee, adding syrups, the barista must also be able to professionally. By the way, in most cases, he will have to make tea, and even cook something elementary like a sandwich. Well, of course, the barista must also understand the inventory and work with the cash register.
Each of the points prescribed in the instructions should not raise questions even for a novice specialist. If he disagrees with something, everything is discussed before taking office.
Everything is simple here: a barista has the same rights as any worker according to the country’s Labor Code. He has the right to know his schedule in advance, not to work overtime without personal consent and adequate pay. He has the right to a social package, and also must know in advance what is included in it. The barista is not required to clean the premises of the coffee shop, unless, of course, additional actions are prescribed in the instructions and are not paid accordingly.
It follows from the list of responsibilities. What is charged to a specialist, he must perform in full. Issues of tracking equipment, cash desk — also on it.
Some important information:
- 12 hour shift for a specialist — the norm, but this should not be scary, because the barista does not serve customers without a break, he has time for a break;
- two days of work two days off — the most common schedule, although «three in three» is also not uncommon;
- according to sanitary standards, the employee must have medical bookand the employer usually gives time for its acquisition;
- willingness to be supervised by management — constant, sometimes this is done through video cameras installed in the coffee shop;
- fines for violations is a common practice, and they can be for violating the recipe, as well as flirting with a client, for example.
The main thing is to maintain adequacy and professional attitude, not to be fascinated ahead of time and clearly understand the requirements that the employer puts forward.
The work of a barista involves not just contact with people, but also communication. The pros say you have to be ready for people to expect a show from you. That is, being a showman is partly a professional requirement.
What else do you need for a successful career.
- Politeness, tact — without this, in the service sector, in principle, it is difficult, and even where you have to not only give people a tasty product, but also create a mood, atmosphere, such skills are a priority.
- Willingness to hide your mood. No matter how the barista is doing, whether he got enough sleep and so on, his appearance should not betray personal problems. People want to be served by a smiling, pleasant and well-mannered employee.
- Expertise. This is not entirely a personal quality, but it is associated with the ability to immerse yourself in the profession, not to stop there, to learn, learn, listen to the masters and see new horizons. In a word, to be, not to seem.
- Attentiveness — where without it. The mood of the client, the appearance of the coffee machine, and the order at the checkout should not be left without attention. If a barista wants to be a person who doesn’t have that kind of focus, and multitasking is the most annoying thing for him, he will obviously have problems.
Sociable, friendly, pleasant — this is how clients see a specialist, and meeting this expectation is probably really the key to success for a barista in many ways. In addition, a specialist must possess such important qualities as neatness, punctuality, discipline.
There are several options here. You can take courses where you have to pay from 500 to 1000 rubles per hour of training. Therefore, for a full course, a person can give up to 20,000 rubles. Of course, during this time you can not only learn how to work with coffee, but also understand whether this is your profession or not. Although real, full-fledged impressions are formed only directly at the workplace.
Another option is to study on the job. And it’s real. Management can arrange this as an internship and allocate an average of 5 hours a day to train a new employee. How many days such an internship will take is decided individually in each case.
It all depends on the readiness of the management, on the need for the earliest possible introduction of a person to the position, on the ingenuity and learning ability of the employee himself.
A diploma or course certificate is not of the same value as a college diploma. Not all coffee houses even ask to show it, it is enough to mention that the person has completed his studies and is aware of the requirements for his specialty. But the passage of various advanced training courses already in the course of a career is perhaps more relevant than the initial passage of courses. So you can become not just a good barista, but one of the best on the market, one that makes a name for your coffee shop.
Place of work
You can search for a job directly on sites where employers post job ads. Today, these sites are often inferior to thematic sites in social networks. And this is a good option: monitor them, look for those cafes and coffee shops where they are ready to take a person with no experience, a beginner. Also on such sites it is easier to track the conditions of employment, the level of wages, and so on. That is, the ultimate goal is not just to get where they take, but to find the most acceptable job for themselves.
What to ask your employer:
- what is the working schedule;
- How long will the shift be?
- will the barista work alone or with other employees;
- what is the salary schedule?
- what is the patency of the trading place;
- whether an internship is necessary and whether the internship will be paid.
In some, especially personally attractive coffee shops, you can just go in and ask if they are looking for an employee. In a number of places where such a vacancy is not relevant at the moment, they nevertheless allow you to fill out a questionnaire, and in the future everything may turn out.
Work in this area is never called a specialty that will help you get rich or make a career leap. Growth within the profession is certainly possible, but it still has its ceiling. Very often, a person who has worked as a barista simply begins to seriously look at this business and plans to eventually open his own coffee van, work for himself. This is a more realistic goal than becoming the coolest barista in Moscow, for example.
How much does he earn?
The salary is affected by the number of shifts worked, the length of the shift itself and the flow of visitors. In small coffee shops, interestingly, the average salary is higher than in network ones. Usually, a shift salary at 12 hours ranges from 1500-2000 rubles. Earnings do not depend much on the format of the coffee house, but how much depends on the cross-country ability. The barista receives a percentage of sales (not always, but in the vast majority of cases) — the more coffee shop revenue, the more his salary. Therefore, it turns out that a small island in a large shopping center may well be a better place to work in terms of salary than a stylish coffee shop.
You can also raise your salary by working at events. Sometimes in an outdoor coffee shop you can earn 5,000 rubles per shift, or even more, however, you will have to work tirelessly.
As for tips, the most honest calculation is 200-500 rubles per shift. The barista puts boxes and jars for tips himself, you can accompany them with a romantic or motivational signature, for example, “I am saving up for a wedding” or “I am collecting for Elbrus.” Such charming marks increase visitor loyalty.
Management can pay either as standard, twice a month, or every day. Usually this can be negotiated. There are fewer risks for the employee in the case of shift pay, the risk that they will be underpaid, deducted for something, is minimized.
Devoting a lifetime to serving customers, preparing coffee for them, probably few people dream of. But the profession is interesting, allowing you to know yourself, earn money (for a young man without a family, the word “earn” definitely sounds without exaggeration). Moreover, it is not particularly difficult to start in it.