Barista duties & responsibilities

According to an article by the Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse, 77 per cent of adults in America drink coffee every day, and 66 per cent of these buy coffee that is brewed at coffeehouses or establishments other than their homes. Needless to say, these statistics are encouraging for those who are considering a job as a barista (which means "bartender" in Italian). Prospective coffeehouse baristas are responsible for a variety of tasks, and can be employed on a part-time or full-time basis. According to Payscale, baristas make an average of £5.0 to £6.10 per hour, which does not include potential tips.

Customer Service

The barista's primary responsibility is customer service. Baristas are usually encouraged or required to greet any new customers, help them find any desired merchandise and clean any seating areas and rest rooms. Baristas may also offer demonstrations or prepare samples of coffee, tea and espresso products in order to familiarise clients with items and increase sales.

Beverage Production

Baristas are responsible for the preparation of a variety of coffee, tea and other beverages. These duties will require new baristas to memorise drink menus and familiarise themselves with the flavours and recipes for their coffeehouse's beverages. Baristas will also need to learn about the health and sanitation requirements of drink preparation, such as milk temperature and coffee bean storage.

Cleaning Duties

Depending on which shift they work, baristas will be responsible for a variety of cleaning duties. These might include sanitising steam wands, doing dishes, mopping floors, cleaning blenders and sanitising coffee makers. Many coffeehouses provide lists of duties for each shift that baristas can reference in order to ensure task completion.

Cash Management Duties

Baristas will often be required to manage their own cash drawer during their shift. They will be responsible for refreshing bills or coins when needed, storing cash properly and counting the drawer at the end of the night. Baristas will also need to learn the ins and outs of their coffeehouse registers, and be able to locate items in order to charge customers accurately.

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About the Author

Nicole Crawford is a NASM-certified personal trainer, doula and pre/post-natal fitness specialist. She is studying to be a nutrition coach and RYT 200 yoga teacher. Nicole contributes regularly at Breaking Muscle and has also written for "Paleo Magazine," The Bump and Fit Bottomed Mamas.