Invest in People

Baristas are the face and best representatives of a coffee shop business. They will interact with customers, prepare the beverages and protect your investment each day.

There are several workforce models that may be applicable to your business.  These range from the foodservice style of unskilled workers hired at low wages to press buttons to fine dining executive chefs.  There is a style best suited to every business model.

With any approach, choose the best possible candidates for the position and compensate them fairly. Hire smart and eager people then give them the training, support and compensation (monetary or otherwise) to succeed.

1000% employee turnover rates are common in minimum wage fast food restaurants.  Consider the real cost this has for a small retail business:

  • product inconsistencies resulting from an inexperienced staff
  • high training costs for new hires
  • poor skills and employee morale resulting from low wages

Remember these staff interact with your customers. What image of a business do they project?

Technology tools are available to reduce the skill level required of your people to perform their jobs. Superautomatic espresso machines perform all the steps of a barista, from bean to cup at the press of a single button. As helpful as these devices may be, remember to use technology as a tool and not a crutch. Technology is helpful to assist employees but technology cannot solve all problems.

Look for enthusiastic applicants with stable job histories and good references. Ideally, those who are looking for longer term positions.   The return on human investment from reliable job performance will outweigh any upfront expense.

Also consider that the best candidates may not be influenced by money alone.  Professional development opportunities or benefits like medical insurance coverage can go far to attract a stable workforce. Work with a payroll professional or professional employer organization to develop an employee compensation package that represents your values.