The job duties of a coffee house supervisor extend far beyond opening and closing the front doors every day. A successful store supervisor must manage various aspects of the business as well as staff. Customers must be properly handled; products must be top quality; equipment must be carefully maintained; and the shop must remain in compliance with state regulations.
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The main sign of a good coffee shop--and a good manager--is equipment running smoothly and efficiently. This is more important in a coffee shop than many other hospitality fields because the precision of a coffee machine directly affects taste. Thus, check espresso machines for perfectly-timed shots--between 17 and 21 seconds--and adjust accordingly. This must be done several times per day, and you can train employees how to do it when you're not there. Another maintenance item is cleaning out the drip coffee makers. As you change the types of coffee brewed in each, the tastes will begin to cross contaminate and your product won't be its best. You must clean the pots daily to preserve the integrity of the taste. Other maintenance items are cleaning frap machines, blenders, dispensers, syrup tops, refrigerators and any other machinery in your shop.
Making the weekly employee work schedule is tedious for some, but essential for a smooth-running operation. It must be available no later than Saturday for the next week of business, and it helps to e-mail it to each team member. If you simply have it up on the wall, there is a greater chance of miscommunication and employee no-shows. Almost everyone has e-mail and checks it frequently, so this is a great way to communicate. As you build the schedule, be fair and try to honour employee requests. Of course, you can't always make everyone happy, but you can make an effort to accommodate.
Making sure your employees are following company protocol is very important. Check how each is dressed and groomed as they arrive for work each day. If you spot deficiencies, enforce the rules directly, but friendly, using the right tone and language. Making employees happy is not a priority for some managers, but this is a highly counterproductive attitude. Your employees are the lifeblood of the company. A happy team equals a happy environment and happier customers.
One of the most important aspects of managing a coffee shop is keeping the store in compliance with the state health code. Each state has its own set of rules, but they share much in common. You must keep the store up to par in cleanliness and sanitation. You must measure the bleach level in sponges and rags; store meats, vegetables and cheeses at the correct temperature; eliminate cross contamination; make employees constantly sanitise their hands and wear socks; and just keep a overall clean shop. Familiarise yourself with your state's checklist so you can keep the store in constant compliance. After all, you don't know when the state inspector will visit. Additionally, you need to take a class and a test to obtain a food manager's permit. You must see that your employees do the same to get food handlers permits. Failure to do so could get your business shut down. Handle all this correctly and you will run a safe, happy and sanitary coffee shop.
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