A career in the coffee shop industry can be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable – especially if you love coffee as much as we do! Although hospitality has taken some serious hits over the past couple of years due to the pandemic, the future of UK coffee shops is a bright one.
There are lots of opportunities to learn while working in a fast-paced coffee shop environment. So, what kinds of skills do you need to be a top-notch barista or coffee shop employee and what other skills will the job teach you along the way?
The Pros of Becoming a Barista
Aside from everything you’ll get to learn and the skills you’ll develop, why else would you want to become a barista?
First and foremost, you’ll get to be around coffee all day, enjoying the smell and brewing various drinks to perfection. If you’re a big coffee fan, it doesn’t get much better than this!
You’ll also become an integral part of many people’s daily routines, getting to know the regulars and establishing yourself as a welcoming community figure.
You may also have the chance to express your creativity by creating Insta-worthy coffee creations and making customers’ drinks just how they like them. You’ll likely have some food preparation tasks too, so you also have the chance to develop your kitchen skills.
Daily Routine for Baristas
You’ll often hear that every day is different when working in a coffee shop, and while this is certainly true, you’ll also be able to find a sense of routine as you get to know all the tasks that are a part of the job.
A typical day for a barista or coffee shop employee will likely mean communicating with customers, taking and preparing orders and making menu recommendations.
Coffee equipment maintenance and cleaning will also be essential parts of your day. Keeping everything clean, sanitised and in accordance with coffee shop health and safety regulations is an important responsibility.
Depending on your role, you may also be in charge of ordering and cataloguing stock, ensuring the cafe has everything it needs to run smoothly.
All of this requires a lot of skills, so what will you learn when you head down this path?
1. Develop Exceptional People Skills
You’ll have to deal with all kinds of people when taking on any sort of retail or hospitality job, so brilliant people skills come with the territory.
For those who lack confidence, learning how to best communicate with different people in a customer-facing role can be a real confidence booster, acting as a fantastic foundation to nurture people skills.
2. Adapting to New Situations
Because of the variety of people who visit coffee shops, you’ll have to adapt quickly to new situations and new people. While most customers are perfectly lovely, there’s no denying that you’ll have to deal with disgruntled coffee shop goers every now and again.
You’ll soon learn to be unfazed by anything that comes your way, dealing with problems gracefully and efficiently.
3. Working on a Team
Effective communication skills don’t just come in handy when talking to customers; they’re also essential for working well in a team.
Working in a bustling coffee shop is never solitary, and you’ll likely be part of a hardworking team, all doing your part to keep everything running smoothly.
Getting along well with others and communicating with coworkers is a crucial part of any job and is a great transferable skill that will serve you well throughout your working life.
4. Learning About Coffee
When you start working in a coffee shop, you’ll learn all about the menu and different types of coffee drinks.
You can take your passion for coffee to a whole new level, learning about the source of the beans, how they’re roasted and ground and the best blends for the smoothed, most delicious coffee.
5. Making Outstanding Coffee
Learning more about the story behind your coffee goes hand in hand with creating outstanding tasting coffee and cultivating great coffee experiences. There’s a surprising amount of precision and skill that goes into making the perfect espresso – it’s not just a case of boiling some hot water.
And don’t forget about the latte art! Expert baristas make pouring beautiful latte leaf or heart art look easy, but there’s more than a little finesse that goes into it.
You’ll also learn how to properly taste coffee and detect different flavour notes, which is a skill you’ll want to remember for life.
6. Becoming Part of the Community
Coffee shops are often at the heart of a community, acting as a social hub where clubs and groups can gather. When you work in one, you’ll discover so much more about the local area, getting to know the people that contribute to local life.
Feeling like part of the community offers endless rewards!
7. Developing Management & Leadership Skills
It’s likely that whichever job you end up in, there’ll come a time when you have to step into a leadership role. Whether this means managing or training new employees, you’ll have to put your excellent communication and people skills to good use once again.
Taking on more leadership tasks as a barista can be a great way to help progress your career and take steps towards becoming a manager.
At Esquires Coffee, we provide extensive training programmes to all franchisees, so they can train their managers and staff to ensure they are always offering the highest quality service and products.
8. Improving Financial Skills
Working with money all day means that your quick maths skills will improve in no time. Even though we’ve got tills to do the majority of the work, being able to do quick adding and subtraction sums is a handy skill.
You may also be expected to work out discounts, tips and profit margins, so working with percentages will become second nature.
Beginning Your Career in a Coffee Shop
It can be tough to start from scratch and join an industry you have no experience in. However, the supportive workplace culture often inherent to coffee shops means that it’s a fantastic place to start, even if you think you have no skills.
A career in hospitality can take you to some amazing places – all you need is a positive attitude and a great work ethic!
Our Esquires Coffee shops are great places to kick-start your career in the coffee industry, whether you’re looking to become a barista or buy a coffee franchise business.
Discover where your local Esquires Coffee store is today to find out more about any vacancies.
And if you’re looking for franchising opportunities, read our FAQs to find out if you’ve got what it takes to become an Esquires franchise partner.