Regular training and skill development is so important for those of us that work in the coffee industry; it’s a reflection of our willingness to maintain our industry relevance. It also shows our commitment to doing our jobs well, and gives our business an important point of difference over and above our competitors.
As both consumers and producers, we know that quality and consistency are essential in building a successful coffee business and brand loyalty. Having and maintaining regular customers can be largely attributed to the consistency of goods and services being received.
Specialty coffee is more popular than ever before; there is a very obvious trend in consumers who are interested in increasing their coffee knowledge. Customers are more discerning and have higher expectations, making it increasingly important to keep our baristas and café staff developed in their coffee knowledge and skills up to date in this competitive industry.
Owners, managers and supervisors who oversee the coffee production team should also continue to expand their coffee knowledge and make the effort to stay “in the know” with changing trends and procedures. Setting a good example for your staff to follow is fundamental, as any business owner is aware, good practices start at the top.
In the fast-paced environment of the coffee industry, it is very easy to become complacent or simply pick up bad habits.
What I have noticed from running regular training and refresher courses with teams of staff, is that there are a number of small differences between team members. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you think about the many different baristas working on the machine over the course of each week, it is enough to cause a variety of inconsistencies across your products. This ripple effect is enough to give your business a reputation for producing average coffee at best.
Encouraging all staff members to attend refresher courses provides the opportunity to get every team member back on the same page, therefore limiting the fluctuation in quality.
Our recommendations for training:
- Any new staff members who will be using the coffee machine should attend our Barista Basics training session, prior to their first shift making coffee. These run every Tuesday & Thursday out of our purpose-built training lab in Bibra Lake (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings). Even if you are hiring a barista who claims to have loads of experience, they will still benefit from learning about our roastery and how to get the best out of our unique blends.
- Once trained, staff with little or no experience should get at least 2-3 shifts per week on the coffee machine. Ideally these shifts would be during quieter times, or alongside one of the more experienced baristas, to help build up their confidence and allow them to put their training into practice. Some staff may even benefit from attending the basics training a second time.
- Once staff are competent with espresso making and milk steaming, our latte art course is recommended to improve their presentation of beverages.
- Long-term staff members should attend a refresher course annually to ensure best practices are being maintained.
Take it from our team here at Leaf Bean Machine: the coffee industry is constantly evolving and there is always more to learn. Coffee skill development is crucial in keeping up to date with trends, sourcing new information and meeting people in the industry.
In summary, regular training will:
- Improve job satisfaction and morale among staff
- Boost employee motivation
- Increase efficiency in processes and production, resulting in financial gain
- Create greater consistency of products
- Enhance company image
- Keep the customer happy and willing to return!
Written by Summah Grant