Baristas are Important
The barista position has to be the most important position in a coffee shop. (An argument can be made that they are equal to the leader/store manager.) Ever single customer’s experience hinges on how well this person does their job. In most coffee shop experiences they are the last person the customers sees before they sit down or leave. Baristas are the core and most importantly the life of the coffee shop experience. Every time I walk in the door of a coffee house I can tell if this is going to be a place I want to frequent within a minute or two. This decision has almost nothing to do with the decor, seating, lighting or wifi, though all do play a factor. It is almost solely weighted on how awesome the interaction with the barista was and how well they performed in making an amazing beverage.
Most Coffee Shop Visits
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that over 80% of my coffee shop visits are just ok. The visits are not bad but they are not rock your socks of gorgeous either. I think a portion of this comes down to how people are deployed in most coffee houses around the US. Track with me here, you have your cashier and your barista. Usually one person does all the cash handling and the other makes your drink. More often than not the person taking the cash usually checks out of the interaction after they hand of your drink to the barista at the bar. Now you are waiting at the bar watching the barista make your drink. They hand of your drink and you are gone. In this senario you have split your very limited connect time, say 5 minutes tops, with two people. What if we rethought this process and you had one person help you throughout your whole visit. The same person that rang you up, also made your drink and was able to continue the initial, “Hey, how are ya today.” into something deeper and/or fun.
It’s Just Coffee
I do realize that their are people reading this thinking, “Man Jason it’s just coffee, I want to get in and out fast.” or “What do you want a full on counseling session?” and I get it. If you fit into one of these two categories and could care less then kudos! If I was in that boat I would personally just make my coffee at home and save some dough. I go to coffee shops for the awesome hand crafted coffee, for the interaction, for the connect, for the relationships, and call me sentimental – for the Love!
Why do you go to coffee shops? How are your visits? What are you thoughts on the barista position? Let’s talk about this…
*I banged out this video a little impromptue and in one shot. This is by no means the fullness of my thoughts on the position and how to take it to the next level. I am literally just wanting to “riff” around the top of barista postion and how to better the interaction between customer and employee.