Barista Job Description, Responsibilities and Salary

A barista is not only responsible for making and serving its customers with coffee products but also educating them about premium teas and coffees.

Barista Job Description:

  • Welcoming and greeting customers in the coffeehouse and efficiently determining their needs and interests.
  • Explaining and educating the customers about different coffee products by explaining and presenting to them the difference between coffee beans and preparation machines, and also demonstrating the operation of brewing equipment.
  • Preparing and selling coffee products by closely following the prescribed preparation techniques and recipes for various coffee drinks like caffe, espresso, latte, espresso lungo and cappuccino.
  • Attracting new customers and generating additional revenue; characterizing new and expanded products and services.
  • Sanitizing or cleaning utensils, work areas and equipment.
  • Regularly checking the temperature of refrigerators, freezers or other heating equipment to make sure it functions properly.
  • Ordering, receiving and stocking retail products or stock supplies.
  • Serving prepared foods such as cakes, biscotti, muffins or bagels.
  • Maintaining equipment from time to time by closely following operating guidelines, replenishing supplies, troubleshooting breakdowns, calling for checkup and repairs and performing preventative maintenance.
  • Studying, re-designing and evaluating processes, maintaining and implementing changes, enhancing the outlook of the coffee bar and store to improve quality results.
  • Continuously upgrading job knowledge and experience by participating in workshops, internships and other educational opportunities; referring to retail trade, coffee and food service publications; and maintaining personal networks.
  • Ensuring a healthy and safe environment and a friendly atmosphere by following sanitation regulations and organization standards.
  • Grinding, weighing and packing coffee beans for customers.
  • Labeling, wrapping or dating food products for sale.
  • Slicing vegetables, fruits, meats or desserts for use in food service.
  • Setting up or restocking product displays.
  • Taking customer orders and conveying them to other employees for preparation.
  • Taking out the garbage.
  • Passing monthly re-certification in an appropriate manner.
  • Listening to customer complaints and queries and addressing their concerns in an efficient yet friendly manner, and reporting to the manager on duty without delay.
  • Maintaining a prompt and friendly customer service.
  • Reporting potential safety hazards to the manager on duty without delay.
  • In addition to taking orders from customers and preparing their drinks, a barista may also be required to deal with other matters at hand in one go. Depending on the place of work, one may be required to carry out all-round tasks for the shop for example helping in stock control and cleaning tables.

barista job description

Job Requirements, Skills and Qualifications:

  • No educational background required.
  • Entry level position; no experience required. At times, employers do take into high consideration the level of experience and skills. However, majority of the time the training will be provided by the venue which usually covers areas such as the basics of coffee-making, correct use of equipment and customer service.
  • Willingness and ability to work at special events.
  • Willingness to work overtime.
  • Excellent listening and verbal communication skills.
  • Detail-oriented and well-organized.
  • Physically fit and attractive.
  • Confident yet friendly personality.
  • Maintains a professional attitude and company morale.
  • Is a team worker.
  • A proper customer focus
  • A prompt and efficient customer service.
  • Basic implementation of safety rules
  • Action-orientation.
  • A regular attendance.

How Much Can You Earn

In the United States, a barista earns an average hourly rate of $9.01, with a bracketed rate of $7.61 to $11.19. Additional earnings besides a basic hourly rate may include hourly tips and overtime, commission, bonuses and profit sharing which will vary from business to business.

How to Get Started

While some individuals kick start their barista profession without any education, prior experience or certification, others go with a course. At present, there are a number of barista certification courses and programs out there, now with many coffee companies offering their own courses, for example Counter Culture.

People can either first choose to get certified before starting their barista job or begin the job and later get certified. Typically, people with no experience start off by expediting or running the cash register, and at the same time take training until they are consistent and efficient in making quality drinks. Well-known coffee shops do require the need to pass a barista certification or prove the efficiency in making good quality drinks before hiring.

A barista certification program covers aspects that especially evaluate a barista’s aptitude to ‘dial in’ a coffee (coffee grinding, recipe making, and other additions so that the coffee can taste great when brewed under at a high coffee-to-water ratio), thoroughly heating and texturizing milk, preparing high quality drinks quickly and consistently without added ingredient waste, maintaining an efficient and clean station, explaining the coffee menu to the customers, making appropriate recommendations, latte art, and otherwise interacting with the customers.

How to Become a Good Barista

Many people assume that the job of a barista is best suited to a student looking for part time job to make some extra cash, but with the right skills and enough patience, one can find the career of a barista quite fun, rewarding and a door to bigger opportunities. Following are some of the qualities and skills needed to make the most out of your barista profession.

Interpersonal Skills

Being a barista means frequent direct contact with the customers which calls for the need to be a pleasant and natural communicator. Maintaining a positive and friendly attitude is highly critical which in turn will make sure that the customers become regular visitors.

One of the key skills necessary to be classified as a competent barista is that of being a “people person” who can relate, interact and develop rapport with customers. Even if you are swamped with customer orders, you must be capable of giving each individual person who walks in the door a moment of your time. You should politely greet each customer when they enter your cafe. If they have a question or want to chat, it is the barista’s job to reply appropriately with a friendly attitude.

It’s the primary job of a barista to ensure that the customers who walk-through the door of the cafe choose to return another time. This is achieved not only by producing a premium coffee product, but by being positive and friendly, and also judging exactly what the customer wants from their visit and being proactive in taking action. Some customers desire idle chat whilst waiting for their coffee, while others may want little interaction. The barista, being the “people person”, needs to be able to quickly ascertain what each customer desires from their visit to the cafe and meet these expectations before the customer gets flustered and disappears for good.

Ability to Keep Up With the Fast Paced Environment:

There is nothing worse for the customers than to wait unnecessarily, especially when it comes to drinks and food. Time management and organization are crucial to make sure the tasks are dealt efficiently and no customer is disappointed. Most well-known businesses provide their employees with the necessary training in the aspect, so you will have an opportunity to learn the skills.

Multitasking and Consistency:

When working as a barista you will certainly be required to deal with numerous orders placed simultaneously without getting mixed-up or making mistakes. You will need to know how to make all types of coffee beverages and do it with consistency, as many of your customers will likely return to the cafe seeking the same beverage day after day. As such, to meet your customers’ expectations the coffee beverages you make should be should be consistent with whatever they enjoyed prior.

Having a Good Palate:

Unless you yourself has a good palate, you cannot be sure what you are serving tastes great. Experimenting with the recipe and adding extra ingredients to the menu may be the much needed boost to ensure the formula from getting stale.

Patience and Stamina:

The capacity to spend hours on feet without showing signs of strain and simultaneously dealing with countless customers throughout the shift time will not always be easy, and require a good degree of persistence and stamina.

Cleanliness and Appearance:

This is where common sense kicks in. Keeping the service area clean and sanitized does not only give a good impression but can also save the embarrassment in case of an unexpected inspection. Cleanliness shouldn’t be restricted to the working area but also be implemented on a personal level since shape and appearance can greatly change people’s opinion about the quality of product offered. A barista’s sloppy appearance may lead to the customer subconsciously making assumptions of an unhygienic environment, giving an extremely damaging impression. It is also critical not to scratch/touch parts of the body, head or face when preparing and servicing your coffee. You don’t want to be the reason your customer gags in disgust.

Being Detail-Oriented and Creative:

Being a barista means playing with different ingredients and measurements, this requires precision.  To ensure you do not end up serving an excessively concentrated latte or a watered-down coffee, presence of mind and detail orientation are a must. Furthermore, you will certainly need to be creative when it comes to latte art.

Even top rated baristas have developed their talent for a number of years. It takes time and energy to understand how to be considered a professional barista and how to make uniquely flavored and in-demand espressos, to work the coffee making machines and then deliver fully flavored espressos.

There’s certainly no direct route or career path that will ensure barista competency, nonetheless the instructions you will need to do your job will be rather intensive. You will not have the option to learn the necessary skills from a book as the barista profession is almost all “hands on”. Books and online barista resources will assist in remembering recipes and other details, and can be considered valuable accompaniments to a practical barista education.

A majority of individuals working as baristas learn most of the competencies while at work, and if there is solid dedication, it may be beneficial to practice barista skills outside of the workplace – at your home. As discussed above, one can also learn how to be a barista from barista training providers.

Career Paths for Baristas:

A lot of people view barista positions a great source of part-time jobs since they offer flexible working hours, especially for people who are only available in the morning. Working as a barista is a great way to learn and experience food and customer service. Furthermore, it is an ideal entry-level job for those looking for ways to break into the food and restaurant industry. People who have a strong passion for coffee obviously find great pleasure in a barista job, and could also be promoted to supervisor positions or other managerial roles.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Barista


  • It is fun, with a high probability of meeting new people and broadening one’s social circle.
  • You usually get to work in a very relaxed, non-stressful environment.
  • Free drinks!


  • Because customer service is a critical part of the job, the main goal is to please the clientele regardless of your personal situation.
  • Being a barista is not exactly considered as a solid career, unless you have a shop of your own.
  • Similarly, the income of a barista too falls in the lower bracket, unless you set up and successfully operate your own coffee shop, café or any other similar business.

The career path to becoming a successful barista is not a straightforward one and not every person is cut out for it since it requires an outgoing individual who is also willing to learn and enjoy both people and coffee. If these are qualities you possess, then there is a good chance with effective barista training and/or certification that you could enjoy a successful and fun career as a barista.

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