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Training Your Cafe Workers to Boost Efficiency

Training Your Cafe Workers: The Secret to Boosting Efficiency

We’ve heard of an efficient coffee service being compared to a really impressive close-up magic card trick—and based on what we know about the intricacies of what cafe workers do all day, (and based on what we’re pretty sure we know about close-up magic) it’s an apt analogy. Every move is fluid, effortless, and highly practiced, and when you watch it all come together, it’s quite mesmerizing. Then, before you even realize what’s happened, there’s your card—or in this case, your coffee order—right in front of you.

And here’s the thing: Both require intentional training and lots of practice to make the magic happen.

The Challenges of Being a Cafe Worker

The first time you powered an espresso machine, chances are, it didn’t go exactly the way you pictured it. And over time—and with some expert barista training—those skills improved until a casual observer would reckon you’ve always been a macchiato aficionado or a lifelong pourer of museum-worthy latte art.

With proper barista training and the right educational opportunities, you and your cafe workers can not only pour some eye-catching latte art, but they can also speed up their operations and deliver exceptional flat whites in no time flat.

What Do We Mean By "Efficiency?"

Let’s make sure we’re on the same page, shall we? When we talk about efficient operations in your coffee shop, we don’t just mean fast service. After all, "fast" doesn’t always equal "exceptional;it just means fast. And that doesn’t always equal "positive," or "delicious," or "truly special."

Efficient, then, isn’t just about getting drinks made in a timely manner, but how your baristas and cafe workers feel about this (no need for unnecessary stress), and also how your coffee shop guests feel about the process of selecting, ordering, and getting their beverage; their experience. It means reasonable times, no confusion, and tasty, accurate, visually appealing orders—without wasted product and without too much extra time waiting in line.

It also means:

  • Your cafe workers feel supported and not rushed or overburdened
  • Your guests receive a high-quality coffee experience in an appropriate amount of time

So an efficient coffee shop is probably not powered by one person taking and ringing up orders, making the drinks, grabbing bakery items from the case, and cleaning along the way, all while a line starts to form.

Instead, an efficient coffee shop might mean having several staff members on hand to run the register, handle food and bakery items, and make drinks—and perhaps even displaying a well-placed QR code for guests to scan so they can take a closer look at the menu while they wait in the queue.

Tweaks for Running a Smoother Coffee Shop

An efficient coffee shop may also mean making tiny tweaks to prioritize the things that make your operations run smoother. These tweaks may include:

  • Learning how to manage, schedule, guide, and train your baristas
  • Educating your team on new products, best practices, and brand expectations
  • Finding ways to automate certain tasks like product and supply ordering, scheduling, and more
  • Optimizing the layout of your ordering and coffee service areas to streamline operations and make add-ons and upselling simple
  • Tracking your efficiency and evaluating your team and your operations over time to make adjustments
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Where to Add Efficiency with Your Cafe Workers

For Dilworth Coffee, we’ve discovered that when you cover five specific areas of your coffee shop or cafe, you end up creating efficient operations. These areas are part of our proven process:

  • Planning: What sets you apart, how you run things, what is unique to your vision, what you do best, and what you sell.
  • People: Having a well-trained team, both customer-facing team members and those preparing products, who understand how and why your operations are set up is such an important aspect of your success.
  • Place: Your location is essential for bringing in business—but when you consider the location of your shop, you can also consider the layout and the flow and how they support efficient operations and a positive customer experience.
  • Products: Top-quality products can be critical to your success, but you also must ensure you have the right amounts on hand, without wasteful excess. Get support with logistics and inventory control to make efficient use of your products and maximize profit margins.
  • Promotions: Leverage promotions and sales to build customer loyalty, but also to make the most of slow periods for more efficient operations and use up specific products before their expiration dates.

Training Your Cafe Workers - Promotions to engage customers


What Can Training Look Like?

Your baristas are the heart of your coffee shop—so why not empower them with the skills and knowledge to really take your shop to the next level?

At Dilworth Coffee, we offer customized training programs to elevate your operations and make them more efficient. This can mean things like:

  • Coffee and espresso classes
  • Catalog cuppings to discover and learn about the taste profiles of different coffees
  • Skill workshops to learn new techniques like latte art and drink preparation
  • Classes to sharpen basic cafe and barista skills

But we also believe that an efficient coffee shop doesn’t just happen at the counter, but also with what’s happening behind the scenes.

Training Your Cafe Workers The Secret to Boosting Efficiency: Latte Art

Latte art is important—after all, those aesthetically pleasing pours end up on social media and serve as free publicity. However, just as important is support and training across the entire spectrum of your organization—everything from how to reduce food waste that cuts into your profit margins to how to schedule and organize your staff to maximize efficiency and teamwork during peak hours.

Getting Assistance in Training Your Barista and Workers

We can even train you on how to train your team so that all your baristas get the same consistent, timely onboarding and the skills they need to make your shop the best on the block. Other ways we can help make every part of your shop efficient?

  • Pricing to ensure you’re meeting profit margins
  • Menu planning for basic and specialty drinks
  • Ingredient and supply ordering
  • Developing or enhancing your business plan
  • Operational planning and productivity tips

Why is this so important? The success of your coffee shop depends on the strength of your team; on their skills, capacity, and especially on their efficiency. We want to see you thrive, and that’s why we are eager to empower you and your team through our training programs.

Let’s Maximize Efficiency In Your Coffee Shop Together

Making your coffee shop shine takes a whole team. We're constantly learning, growing, and supporting each other, because when everyone knows the "plays," the coffee flows, and everyone wins!

We’d love to be your coach. Our training and services can be the secret play to get the win you’re looking for. With our personalized training programs, we’ll discover together all the places you’re succeeding, then pinpoint specific areas of growth and help you and your team get there together. Contact us today to learn more!  

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