Career Advice

Top Tips For Becoming a Barista

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By: Mariah Rogers
Apr 27, 2021 • 4 min read

Barista Tips For Beginners – Let’s Get Brewing!

Welcome to JobGet’s career snippets series! In this article, we will explore our top tips for becoming a barista, one of the most popular service industry positions. Whether you’re working at Starbucks, Dunkin’, or any small-scale coffee shop, there are a few skills that will help you thrive. Let’s get brewing!

man making a coffee latte

What Does a Barista Do?

Being a barista is a fun, fast-paced, and customer-centered job. Baristas are responsible for preparing a variety of different coffees, teas, and frappes. Not only that, but you’ll need to be able to accommodate special requests and unique orders for customers who prefer a little something special in their morning cup of joe.

Breaking Down The Job Description

When applying for a barista role, the establishment will likely post a job description specifically tailored to what they are looking for. However, there is a basic outline most small coffee shops and bakery chains will use. The job description can be a great guide to help you prepare your resume and cover letter accordingly. Let’s take a look at a sample job description for a beginner barista role!

Our shop is seeking an organized and motivated individual to join our barista team. Applicants must be 16 years old or older and be available to work early mornings and on weekends. Responsibilities include making coffee orders, handling baked goods, using the register, and providing excellent customer service while on the job. Candidates must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment while collaborating with other coworkers.

barista tips

Job Specifications

Next, we will take a look at some specific duties you’ll be required to complete while on the job.

  • Memorizing an extensive coffee and tea menu.
  • Being able to make adjustments to recipes in order to cater to specific customer requests.
  • Ability to multi-task and stay calm when the store gets busy.
  • Able to provide excellent customer service skills and diffuse any conflict.
  • Can keep a clean and organized work station.
  • Able to communicate and collaborate well with other team members.
  • Can take direction and apply feedback when necessary.
  • Has an outstanding work ethic and is an honest and trustworthy employee.

people at the coffee shop

Barista Tips – Application Qualifications

Here are a few basic requirements you will need in order to apply for a position as a barista.

  • Able to handle money and perform basic math skills at the register.
  • Can be precise and follow drink recipes to deliver a quality product.
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time.
  • Willing and able to operate blenders, mixers, kettles, and other cooking equipment.
  • Has a positive attitude and willingness to learn.
  • Is reliable and able to show up to shifts on time and prepared.
  • Knowledgeable of cleaning routines and food service sanitation procedures.

Average Salaries

You’re not working for nothing! Baristas have the ability to make good money while on the job. The average hourly pay for a barista is $10.83; however, most coffee shops allow their baristas to make tips, too. This means the better service you provide, the more cash you’ll earn!

If you are planning on applying for a large coffee chain, here are some salary estimates for you to explore:

Starbucks – $13/hour

Dunkin’ Donuts – $10/hour

Honey Dew Donuts – $13.75/hour

Peete’s Coffee – $12/hour

Resume Keywords

It is important to use the job description to your advantage when applying for a role as a barista. Highlighting specific duties or requirements from the listing will help you stand out as a top candidate! When writing your resume, be sure to include these top keywords. This is one of our top tips for anyone applying to become a barista!

  • Accuracy and efficiency
  • Customer service
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Accountability
  • Detail-oriented
  • Multitasking skills

Dress Code While On The Job

Your dress code requirements may depend on the specific company you are working for. In general, it is likely that you’ll be given an apron with the company logo printed on it and possibly a name tag. A visor or hat might be required, too. You should also stock your wardrobe with a few pairs of full-length black pants, solid color collard shirts, and invest in some supportive shoes. Baristas are known for having to stand on their feet for long periods of time!

Interview Questions

Once you’ve submitted an application and cover letter for the role, the next step will be to come in for an interview. You should review our top interview questions when preparing, and also be ready to answer some prompts that are specific to this role. Here are a few examples you can use while prepping!

Q: Can you tell me about how your previous experience has prepared you to be successful in this role?

A: In my previous job opportunities, I had to learn to master the art of multitasking while providing excellent customer service skills. I am an excellent communicator who is able to work collaboratively on a team!

Q: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

A: I am a very reliable and trustworthy employee. I show up to shifts on time and ready to work and represent the company in a positive way! I’m able to provide excellent customer service skills and I am able to stay calm during hectic times. I am a very independent person who likes to get the job done right. I am working to improve my ability to ask for help!

Q: What is your favorite coffee drink to make?

A: I enjoy using an espresso machine to make fun drinks! I also always try to stay current with popular trends, so I am able to whip up unique orders for customers.

Growth Opportunities

There are many opportunities for growth within the food service industry. Being a barista can serve as a stepping stone to an even larger role! If you show commitment to the company and do an excellent job in your beginner-level position, you can expect to be promoted fairly quickly. This can lead to more responsibility while on the job and even earning a raise!

Similar Jobs

If you are interested in the duties and responsibilities that come with being a barista but are sure this is the perfect path for you, there are lots of jobs that require similar skills. You don’t have to limit yourself to working behind a cafe counter! Many jobs within the service industry require their employees to work in a fast-paced environment, have great multitasking skills, and the ability to diffuse stressful situations. Here are some similar jobs for applicants who are exploring positions within the food service industry:

  • Line cook
  • Host/Hostess
  • Server
  • Busser
  • Baker

What are your top tips for a beginner barista? Let us know in the comments down below!

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