Barista Tips!

Today, my stint as a barista for Caffe Nero comes to an end. I've already said how crazy it is that I'm leaving, and I cannot say enough how much I'll miss my times behind that bar.
Anyway, onwards and upwards! I now have the skills under my belt and it's time to move on. I've learned a lot in my 19 months with Nero. So much, in fact, that I thought I'd advise any barista newbies (specifically those in the maroon trainee T-shirts at Caffe Nero) on a thing or two...

Become a little bit ambidextrous. 

Bang out the handle and stick it in the grinder while you steam milk. Stir in the espresso and chocolate powder as you tap the screen so the customer can pay. Take all the black bags out in one trip – even the one that has been in the 'knock-out bin', you can do that, I believe in you! Also cram the dishwasher with two loads, one on the yellow pointed tray and one underneath that on the flat blue one. Don't cut corners, just make the most.

Close at 5.

By that I of course mean have everything ready to close well before actual closing time, the time printed up and stuck to the door. Stick everything in the dishwasher except just the one jug and thermometer, and have all the handles cleaned properly with just one still in – ready for those idiotic customers who desperately need a takeaway espresso at 5:58pm. Clean the drip tray and then put a black tray on top of it for that one last handle. Take all the bins out and only use one black bag for the wastage. Sweep and mop as much as possible – do it blatantly in front of customers, makes them hurry to leave!


Be chatty as you serve – turn to the side while you're steaming the milk so you can talk to the orderer as they wait. Also say 'yes' as much as possible when your colleagues invite you out for a drink after work. Y'know, unless they upset you in some way. Make friends. Simple as.

Turn the music up, then down.

That old trick of getting people out at 6pm – make sure that around 5pm you turned the speakers volume up so the customers could get used to the hideous hollow generic playlist surrounding them. Then turn it down – abruptly or gradually, works either way I find – and leave the remaining customers in total silence. Then maybe start clattering the cutlery and battering the dishes to make it even more obvious that they need to get gone! 

Claim your tips. 

Simple as. You earned that extra dolla. Take it. Well, don't take it, not like my evil colleagues do - wait until they're divided up between the team and then pocket them. Treat yo'self. 

Always leave your life at the door.

This has always been my #1 rule for any job – leave the personal problems, the home dramas, the friendship dilemmas, on the doormat or in your locker downstairs. Be happy and carefree throughout your shift – make it all about the customers. High-five your colleagues. Laugh. Brew a cuppa for yourself between serving and cleaning times. Don't let the outside in.
If you have trouble doing this, just remember that you cannot do anything about your issues while at work. So you may as well get happy!


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