Barista training

Here are some pointers to consider when operating this summer and beyond.

With coffee such an integral part of our culture, it is vital that cafés, coffee shops and any catering operator offering hot beverages, deliver a service that is seamless, effortless and above all, professional. As the hospitality industry begins to rebuild itself following the COVID-19 crisis, we find out why barista training is so important in achieving just that.

Although hospitality took an unimaginably large hit as a result of the pandemic, thankfully government regulations still allowed for the offering of takeaway and delivery services. Consumers were still able to get their caffeine fix, but instead have sought to recreate the café experience at home. According to recent findings by Café Direct, more than half of Brits have admitted to drinking more coffee while working from home compared to before COVID-19. This has led to a rise in sales of filter coffees and single origins and blends, as well as home brewing kits.

As we move towards this ‘new normal’, how will the surge in at home consumption impact barista training? How will baristas operate moving forwards?


Some pointers to consider when operating this summer and beyond.

Health & safety

In light of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to ensure your coffee machines are well looked after, starting with their cleanliness. Regularly cleaning your machine is essential for general health and safety. It not only provides good general hygiene, but also ensure your coffee tastes its best. It also plays a vital role in the overall maintenance of the machine. Presentation is another key factor. Nobody wants to see a splattered, dirty looking coffee machine. Make it part of the barista’s daily routine, and stick to it. You want to give your customers a reason to return.

Online training for your team

Online training isn’t anything new, but given additional safety precautions will be in place for some time following the pandemic, could this be the future of barista training? Whether it be delivered by Microsoft Teams, Zoom or any other online platform, these courses need to be highly reputable, interactive and simple to use. Baristas must also have easy online access to training kits, further reading and resources. Things to consider when operating an online course:

  • Is it certified?
  • It is easily accessible to the user?
  • Will the barista get a certificate on completion?

Ultimately, you want every customer to walk away with the best quality service and product every time. This starts with your barista and training programme.

Home training for consumers

With hybrid working becoming the way of the world, it’s important that you factor this into your business model. Firstly, think about how you can reach out to those consumers working from home. Why not offer training sessions specifically on coffee drinks to be made at home, but using barista skills to try different types of coffee drinks as well as international coffee flavours. Perhaps you could even run online demos on how to use new pieces of kit. You could even produce brew guides for making different types of coffee that baristas would have previously made for those customers on-site. This will help you to build relationships with your customers who are then more likely to visit, or purchase from you in the future.

Menu advice is another idea, along with showcasing seasonal and regional coffee recipes. The opportunities are endless, but it’s how you execute them that counts.

Industry trends

Staying up to date with the latest trends could help baristas add value to your business. Ensure you team is signed up to industry magazines and websites and are keeping a close eye on social media for up-and-coming events and industry updates. Seek out any networking opportunities so your team can start talking to other baristas and professionals. This will help them to grow their contacts and networks on LinkedIn and other media platforms. Events including The European Coffee Symposium, The London Coffee Festival and Caffe Culture Show are all important shows in the coffee world, each offering inspirational talks from industry experts, live demos and insights. Encourage your baristas to get along to a few of these events to gain knowledge that could be applied to your outlet.

Knowing your kit

Baristas are the face of your business, so when it comes to the coffee and all the kit that goes into making the perfect brew, they need to know it inside and out. The size of your outlet will dictate how much space you have for various machines. Whether it be traditional coffee machines, bean to cup or an espresso machine, make sure your barista handles it with care, attention and above all – confidence! Understand the functions, uses and importance of the machine and spend time playing around with it. Customers want speed but above all, they want quality. Know your equipment, and be proud to serve.


Packaging matters

With home brewing becoming more mainstream, it’s important as operators that you give some thought to the packaging of your product to ensure the coffee is kept as fresh as possible when being sold as a takeaway option. Packaging needs to be neat, easy to handle, labelled correctly and sustainable. Make sure your barista is trained on what packaging should be suited to which type of brew.