3 Things Worth Knowing Before Starting as a Barista

3ThingsbeforeBaristaAfter being in the coffee industry over ten years, I’ve learned a lot.Their are some things I wish I’d known before starting out as a Barista. I’d do it all over again but better prepared. Hopefully, some of these things will save your hopes and prepare you.

3 Things I wish I’d known before starting as a Barista:

Invest in comfortable shoes
Would you want your favorite shoes ruined or have achy feet all day? Unless you want your feet to always bother you from standing for hours at a time, be sure to invest in some comfortable, non- slip shoes to get through the day. The only time you will get to sit down is on break…if you’re lucky. I stopped sitting during break because it would be too hard to get back up.

No free drinks
I’ll admit it. I thought one of the perks (pun intended) of being a Barista was for free drinks. It was part selfish and part ignorance as I knew nothing about how a business was run. Found out otherwise fast.

Expect to pay for any and all drinks you intend to drink during, before or after your shift. Except on the rare occasions. Your daily drink costs your boss money and adds up fast. An employee discount is gracious.

No Waste
Sorry, but you’re not at home. Think twice next time you go crazy dosing out coffee to pull your next shot. In a business setting, grinding too much coffee for that espresso shot or using too much milk for that latte, could mean the difference between a gallon of milk extra or run out. Every little bit adds up fast, especially with coffee and milk prices on the rise. Besides, it’s less to clean up and your area will look better for the customers.

Your turn! Are you a new Barista or been one for awhile? What do you wish you had known before taking the job?


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Jennifer has been in the coffee industry since 2003. She started Daily Demitasse to educate and share her experience with other passionate coffee enthusiasts, from a Barista, Cafe Manager, shop Owner and freelancer perspective. When she's not working or blogging, you can find her at Transpire Life.

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One Reply to “3 Things Worth Knowing Before Starting as a Barista”

  1. It’s interesting to see your perspective as a small coffee business owner who has to struggle in the current economy.

    Everywhere that I’ve ever worked as a barista allowed their employees to have free drinks during their shift (but made them pay with an employee discount if they aren’t working a shift).

    I’ve worked as a barista for big corporate coffee companies as well as new start-ups and free drinks have always been part of the job-perks policy … although one start-up I worked for limited employees to one free drink per hour worked.

    All the coffee roasters I’ve worked for have a free drinks policy (no limits) and also give employees one pound of free beans per week … my favorite job-perks policy! 🙂

    Besides pay, what job-perks do you offer to your employees so that you can acquire and retain great people?

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