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Become A Barista

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Working As A Barista

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $19,610

    Average Salary

What Does A Barista Do

Food and beverage serving and related workers perform a variety of customer service, food preparation, and cleaning duties in restaurants, cafeterias, and other eating and drinking establishments.

Duties

Food and beverage serving and related workers typically do the following:

  • Greet customers and answer their questions about menu items and specials
  • Take food or drink orders from customers
  • Prepare food and drink orders, such as sandwiches, salads, and coffee
  • Relay customers’ orders to other kitchen staff
  • Serve food and drinks to customers at a counter, at a stand, or in a hotel room
  • Clean assigned work areas, dining tables, or serving counters
  • Replenish and stock service stations, cabinets, and tables
  • Set tables or prepare food trays for new customers

Food and beverage serving and related workers are the front line of customer service in restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service establishments. Depending on the establishment, they take customers’ food and drink orders and serve food and beverages.

Most work as part of a team, helping coworkers to improve workflow and customer service. The job titles of food and beverage serving and related workers vary with where they work and what they do.

The following are examples of types of food and beverage serving and related workers: 

Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, are employed primarily by fast-food restaurants. They take food and beverage orders, prepare or retrieve items when ready, fill cups with beverages, and accept customers’ payments. They also heat food items and make salads and sandwiches.

Counter attendants take orders and serve food over a counter in snack bars, cafeterias, movie theaters, and coffee shops. They fill cups with coffee, soda, and other beverages, and may prepare fountain specialties, such as milkshakes and ice cream sundaes. Counter attendants take carryout orders from diners and wrap or place items in containers. They clean counters, prepare itemized bills, and accept customers’ payments.

Food servers, nonrestaurant, serve food to customers outside of a restaurant environment. Many deliver room service meals in hotels or meals to hospital rooms. Some act as carhops, bringing orders to customers in parked cars.

Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers—sometimes collectively referred to as bus staff—help waiters, waitresses, and bartenders by cleaning and setting tables, removing dirty dishes, and keeping serving areas stocked with supplies. They also may help waiters and waitresses by bringing meals out of the kitchen, distributing dishes to diners, filling water glasses, and delivering condiments. Cafeteria attendants stock serving tables with food trays, dishes, and silverware. They sometimes carry trays to dining tables for customers. Bartender helpers keep bar equipment clean and glasses washed. 

Hosts and hostesses greet customers and manage reservation and waiting lists. They may direct customers to coatrooms, restrooms, or a waiting area until their table is ready. Hosts and hostesses assign guests to tables suitable for the size of their group, escort patrons to their seats, and provide menus. They also take reservations over the phone, arrange parties, and help with other customers’ requests.

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How To Become A Barista

Most food and beverage service jobs are entry-level jobs and do not require a high school diploma. The majority of workers receive short-term on-the-job training.

Most states require workers, such as nonrestaurant servers, who serve alcoholic beverages to be 18 years of age or older.

Education

There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food and beverage serving worker.

Training

Most workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Training includes basic customer service, kitchen safety, safe food-handling procedures, and good sanitation habits.

Some employers, particularly those in fast-food restaurants, teach new workers with the use of self-study programs, online programs, audiovisual presentations, or instructional booklets that explain food preparation and service procedures. However, most food and beverage serving and related workers learn their skills by watching and working with more experienced workers.

Some full-service restaurants provide new dining room employees with classroom training sessions that alternate with periods of on-the-job work experience. The training communicates the operating philosophy of the restaurant, helps new employees establish a personal rapport with other staff, teaches employees formal serving techniques, and instills a desire in the staff to work as a team.

Some nonrestaurant servers and bartender helpers who work in establishments where alcohol is served may need training on state and local laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some states, counties, and cities mandate such training, which typically lasts a few hours and can be taken online or in-house.

Advancement

Advancement opportunities are limited to those who remain on the job for a long time. However, some dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers may advance to waiter, waitress, or bartender positions as they learn the basics of serving food or preparing drinks.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Food and beverage serving and related workers must listen carefully to their customers’ orders and relay them correctly to the kitchen staff so that the orders are prepared to the customers’ request.

Customer-service skills. Food service establishments rely on good food and customer service to keep customers and succeed in a competitive industry. As a result, workers should be courteous and be able to attend to customers’ requests.

Physical stamina. Food and beverage serving and related workers spend most of their worktime standing, carrying heavy trays, cleaning work areas, and attending to customers’ needs.

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Barista Demographics

Gender

Female

70.0%

Male

28.0%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

77.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.7%

French

11.4%

German

4.7%

Mandarin

3.8%

Japanese

3.3%

Chinese

3.2%

Italian

3.1%

Russian

2.6%

Korean

2.2%

Arabic

1.8%

Portuguese

1.7%

Cantonese

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Tagalog

1.1%

Hindi

0.9%

Polish

0.7%

Greek

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Swedish

0.4%

Thai

0.4%
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Barista Education

Schools

Arizona State University

8.3%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

San Francisco State University

6.8%

Liberty University

6.4%

Washington State University

6.2%

University of Oregon

6.0%

Central Washington University

5.6%

Oregon State University

5.3%

Portland State University

5.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.6%

University of Washington

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Santa Monica College

4.1%

San Diego State University

4.1%

Eastern Washington University

3.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.7%

Western Washington University

3.6%

Northern Arizona University

3.6%

University of North Texas

3.5%
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Majors

Business

16.2%

Psychology

12.8%

Communication

6.5%

Nursing

5.9%

English

5.8%

Criminal Justice

5.7%

Biology

4.7%

General Studies

4.6%

Liberal Arts

4.2%

Fine Arts

3.8%

Graphic Design

3.7%

Medical Assisting Services

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Accounting

3.0%

Political Science

2.9%

Marketing

2.9%

Sociology

2.9%

Photography

2.7%

History

2.6%

Kinesiology

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.6%

Other

32.5%

Associate

12.1%

Masters

5.2%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Top Skills for A Barista

EspressoDrinksStarbucksCustomerOrdersCAFEspressoMachineColdBeveragesPOSQualityBeveragesDateFoodItemsCreditCardMachinesMenuItemsCoffeeShopCustomerServiceSkillsHighVolumeCustomerSatisfactionCoffeeBlendDrinkOrdersBaristasCommunicationSkillsCoffeeBeverages

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  1. Espresso Drinks
  2. Starbucks
  3. Customer Orders
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Serve hot or cold beverages, such as coffee, espresso drinks, blended coffees, or teas.
  • Make every Starbucks customer feel welcome as soon as they enter the store.
  • Prepare and serve hot and cold coffee beverages; take customer orders and payment
  • Performed daily task to maintain a clean and stocked Cafe at all times, while providing customers with outstanding service.
  • Operated an espresso machine and cash register, answered customer calls and questions, performed cleaning and maintenance tasks, stocked products

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Top Barista Employers

Barista Videos

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