Adventures of a Coffee Trainer by Emma Haines
Sadly the service industry is notorious for having a low-paid, fairly transient workforce.
The barista making your favourite hot drink is likely to be classed as an ‘unskilled worker’ but in the coffee world we know that the level of training, care and skill required to create a perfect latte is not to be underestimated. As an SCA trainer I spend my life convincing people that empowering and up-skilling their baristas is essential. Don’t believe me? Here are my top reasons why investing in SCA barista training is not only beneficial, but essential for any business serving coffee.
- Your customers will thank you. By investing in training for your staff you also make a commitment to customers that their experience is your top priority. It should go without saying that well trained baristas produce better quality drinks; something every customer seeks. You never know who will walk through your door - it could be someone who knows nothing about extraction times or milk texturing; or it could be someone who’s watching your baristas like a hawk. Either way, every customer will notice and appreciate the difference when they’re handed a beautifully crafted drink.
- Increase your sales. Making customers happy means repeat business. With highly trained staff on board customer satisfaction will be higher; they’ll tell their friends and everyone will keep coming back. If all baristas are working to a consistently high standard they’ll soon get a name for themselves...everybody wins!
- Empower your staff. Even staff with a perfect attitude need professional development to reach true greatness. Invest in their training and you’ll be rewarded tenfold through loyalty, application of new skills and maintaining a staff who feel valued and empowered. We all know that the service industry struggles more than anything with retention of a strong workforce. Through uplifting your team to qualified SCA baristas you will be creating the skilled workforce you seek, and through demonstrating a belief in their capabilities you’re so much more likely to retain great staff.
- Represent the industry: A huge part of the SCA qualifications is learning the ‘bigger picture’ stuff. Having an appreciation and knowledge of the wider world of coffee, from beginning to end of the supply chain is a big deal for a barista. If they understand the journey of each coffee bean they’re more likely to treat every one with the respect they deserve. It becomes about so much more than putting a dazzling swan or rosetta in front of the consumer. It’s about doing justice to the men and women who grew, tended harvested, carried, processed, milled, roasted and shipped the coffee. Baristas who understand the bigger picture will make better choices regarding how they treat their products, where they source them and the information and attitudes they pass on to colleagues and customers.
- Emma has worked in hospitality and catering training for the last 10 years. For the last five years, she has focused on coffee training, in particular specialty coffee training, and how to incorporate specialty elements into commercial environments. She works all over Europe and beyond, and is a resident trainer at London School of Coffee.