7 Key Skills That Will Make You a Great Barista

Whether you’re new to the industry or you’re looking to further your barista career, having the right skills can help you get on.

So, what makes the perfect barista? Here are seven key skills that you should master to be great at your job.

1. Confidence

Customers want to know that you know what you are doing. They are more likely to trust you if you’re confident and you have the appearance of someone who is experienced and who knows what they are talking about.

Embrace your skills and let customers know why your coffee shop is great. They will trust your recommendations and the quality of your coffee, and will come back again and again.

If you’re not naturally a confident person then try to step out of your comfort zone. Talk to people, smile, and stand upright when you’re dealing with customers.

2. Customer service

Giving your customers a smile, eye contact and a cheery greeting goes a long way. They know you’re happy to be working and that you’ll give them the service and coffee that they want.

If you give customers a good first impression it helps to build trust. Talk to your customers and help them if they seem uncertain. It might sound simple, but asking customers what they want can put them at ease, rather than just waiting for them to speak.

And, don’t be patronising. If a customer needs help, or they need you to explain how a particular drink is made, be polite and help them out. It’s likely to build trust and make them come back in the future.

3. Organisation

Being organised is a key barista skill for several reasons. For example, staying on top of cleaning shows customers that you take the same level of care of your café as you do with their drinks. A clean environment makes a great first impression.

It’s also important to keep stock levels high so customers have the best choice of food and drinks. An untidy, half empty counter won’t tempt anyone.

4. Attention to detail

There are lots of small things you can do that make a big difference to customers. Having an eye for detail and going the extra mile can really help you to become a successful barista.

For example, deliver drinks to a customer’s table or help them find a seat. Take time to explain food or drink choices so they get the right order for them. And make sure your space is inviting and that the environment is as stress-free as you can.

These small things and this attention to detail will differentiate you from the other coffee shops out there. It will also show customers that you’re a great barista and someone that they can trust. Customers often don’t just want a great coffee, but the reassurance that they’ll always get great coffee and service. Take care of your customers in small ways and they will return.

5. Technical skills

Of course, any great barista needs to have a good knowledge of coffee and excellent technical skills. These include:

  • An understanding of coffee including varieties, origins and processing methods
  • How to correctly use and care for your equipment
  • Milk techniques including foaming and latte art patterns
  • How to use the right amount of coffee and water, and getting the right grind texture.

If you want to improve your technical skills, there are a range of courses available. Suited to all experience levels, these courses will help you to learn advanced barista skills and to develop your coffee and customer service skills.  You can also read our guide  on how to prepare the perfect espresso.

6. Ability to handle pressure

Coffee shops can be busy places. There may be times when you have a queue out of the door, several large orders, and you’re juggling cleaning, serving and dealing with customers.

A great barista needs to be able to stay calm under pressure, and to maintain their customer service skills even when things are really busy. The ability to handle pressure will make you a valuable resource in a busy coffee shop, as well as a great team player.

7. An eye for health, safety and hygiene

Working in the food and drink industry means you need to have good health and safety skills. Whether you’re involved in food preparation or not, you’ll be dealing with electrical machinery and very hot products as part of your daily tasks.

Having a sound knowledge of health issues, food hygiene and how to keep you and your customers safe creates an inviting environment that your customers will trust.

If you’re searching for your next barista job, why not take a look at the latest barista jobs that are on offer.

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