How to Hire a Barista

Does your growing cafe, coffee shop or restaurant have you looking to hire a barista? The right barista can not only craft coffee drinks for your customers but can also serve as the face of your business. Here are some tips we have found helpful in finding great barista candidates and choosing the right hire for your business.

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Baristas searching for jobs on Indeed*

571,649

Job seekers that clicked barista jobs

187,182

Resumes for job seekers with barista experience on Indeed

27,008

Barista jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring barista?

  • Common salary in US: $11.81 NA
  • Typical salaries range from $7.25$21.25 NA
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, barista jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 21 job seekers per barista job.

Why hire a barista?

Bringing on a new barista can impact your existing team and customer base. An excellent barista hire can:

• Adapt to and improve your current menu, creating the classic drinks while possibly providing customers with new options
• Manage behind-the-bar inventory, everything from cups and lids to beans and milk
• Develop a great rapport with new and regular customers
• Provide general maintenance and cleaning of the equipment and facilities

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance barista

Freelance baristas are slowly becoming a more common occurrence in the coffee industry. Some baristas work in a freelance capacity and cover shifts at various coffee shops on short notice. This can benefit both the barista and the establishments they work for. By working for multiple businesses, a freelance barista has knowledge concerning how individual shops run and marketing ideas as well as new coffee recipes. They also promote reliable coverage on short notice.

However, coffee shops should always have at least one full-time barista on staff to ensure consistency, a friendly, familiar face for the customers and knowledge of how you want your shop to be known. 

What are the types of baristas?

Although there isn’t a well-defined hierarchy of baristas, there are a few different roles a barista might fill depending on the type of company they work for. They often have similar responsibilities, such as grinding beans, extracting coffee, frothing milk and pouring. These roles include:

  • Chain baristas: Baristas who work in chain restaurants are often given a specific set of rules they have to follow. When hired, they’re trained by other baristas or store management on how to operate equipment. They serve customers lattes, cappuccinos and other common types of coffee. 
  • Privately owned coffee shop baristas: Baristas who work at mom-and-pop coffee shops are often given more freedom when it comes to the drinks they serve. While they undergo the same types of training as chain-store baristas, they may be encouraged to come up with unique drinks and serving styles. 

Where to find baristas

To find the right barista for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Post help wanted flyers. Hanging flyers around the neighborhood can bring in applications for potential candidates. Set up interviews with these individuals to see if they fit the job. 
  • Ask around other nearby coffee shops. Other coffee shops in the area may have information about quality barista candidates they couldn’t hire. Reach out to these candidates to gauge their level of interest in the position and set up an interview. 
  • Promote from within. Ask employees in your business if they’re interested in the job and conduct interviews with potential candidates. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your barista job on Indeed to find and attract quality barista candidates.

What are the types of baristas?

Although there isn’t a well-defined hierarchy of baristas, there are a few different roles a barista might fill depending on the type of company they work for. They often have similar responsibilities, such as grinding beans, extracting coffee, frothing milk and pouring. These roles include:

  • Chain baristas: Baristas who work in chain restaurants are often given a specific set of rules they have to follow. When hired, they’re trained by other baristas or store management on how to operate equipment. They serve customers lattes, cappuccinos and other common types of coffee. 
  • Privately owned coffee shop baristas: Baristas who work at mom-and-pop coffee shops are often given more freedom when it comes to the drinks they serve. While they undergo the same types of training as chain-store baristas, they may be encouraged to come up with unique drinks and serving styles. 

Writing a barista job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified barista candidates. A barista job description includes a compelling summary of the role within your business or storefront, a detailed list of daily duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your barista job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on barista jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Barista
  • Coffee
  • Teen
  • Cashier
  • Coffee shop
  • Hiring immediately
  • Cafe
  • Food service
  • Boba

Interviewing barista candidates

Strong candidates for barista positions will be confident answering questions regarding:

• Accounting platforms used and familiar software
• Maintaining accuracy in accounting

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of barista interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire a barista

What is the minimum age to be hired as a barista?

The minimum age a barista can be hired is 16, in most places. 

Do I really need to hire a barista?

Every other position in a coffee shop has a clearly defined role that may not involve making coffee. In order to take and deliver orders to customers with the highest level of efficiency, every coffee shop should have a barista. 

How long does it take to train a barista?

On average, a barista should be able to operate with some competency after around three months. 

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