Investing in Espresso Part 4: Training Your Staff

Our journey to great espresso has brought us to the last step before the customer, the staff. These team members have a frustrating job. Making espresso has a lot of steps, each as important as every other and small distractions add up to lousy tasting drinks. Not only will your staff be asked to pay attention to the taste of your products, they will be asked to care for the customers, clean and maintain your equipment, all while protecting the atmosphere of your business. This is a tall task for someone that may be new to the work force. With these expectations, you will inevitably find yourself saying goodbye to a great majority of your opening staff within the first year. The training that you will receive from us doesn’t need to disappear with them. How do we create a knowledge base that doesn’t collapse with the inevitable staff turnover that new businesses face? Here are a few ideas that help protect your initial knowledge investment.

  1. Find and train a coffee manager and pay them well.
    A coffee manager should be hired with the knowledge that they will be responsible for future training as team members come and go in the years to come. This person will have more in-depth training than the rest of your opening staff, with specific attention given to them on what is expected from your espresso program. Being upfront about the added responsibility adds purpose to their job and requires added diligence, demanding an appropriate personality and mindset from the beginning. This person is the backbone of quality and customer satisfaction in your business.

  2. Maintain and protect the relationship with your coffee provider.
    Even with a coffee manager and appropriate training, problems can arise that need to be addressed by professionals that have dedicated their lives to the coffee business. When these circumstances come about, having a well maintained relationship with your coffee supplier will ensure that you have the guidance you need when things get difficult. Often, a coffee program’s staff will need refresher courses on how to produce the high standards that your new customers have come to expect. Your team may not respect your equipment investment they way that you do and trouble shooting or replacing essential equipment doesn’t need to interrupt your day-to-day money making service. Your coffee supplier is capable of smoothing over these rough patches. This relationship is invaluable over the life of your business.

  3. Become trained yourself.
    If there is anyone that you can trust to be there when you need them, it’s you! We’ve found that owners that take the time to become trained often make the best trainers. You are invested, passionate, and fully aware of what is at stake. Who better to be the benchmark of perfection for your business?

When your staff has been well trained in the preparation of espresso, their thoughts can move away from the repetition of creating drinks and shift toward how better to serve your customers. With technical proficiency also comes the opportunity to ponder ways to limit waste, creating a more profitable business. The more insecure your staff is in the proper use of equipment, the more wasteful of product and the more inattentive they will be to your future customers. Also, a staff with less than adequate knowledge can damage equipment or even hurt themselves while trying to teach themselves the intricacies of these expensive machines. Safehouse takes pride in creating a workflow of excellence and ease that is easily translated to new team members as the need arises.

In summary, building a profitable, quality espresso service doesn’t have to feel like being lost in the wild. At Safehouse Coffee Roasters, we have an experience-proven map that we would love to guide you through as soon as you are ready to take the journey!