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    Restaurants | 14 min read

    How to Best Hire Baristas for Your Restaurant

    Hiring people can be straining and hard work. There are numerous ways to make the process easier, quicker, and much better than constant interviews and "trustworthy" candidates. Hiring skilled and motivated employees is your number one priority, especially if you'll be letting someone handle your hard-earned money. 

    This will not be a regular HR article listing obvious ways to look for employees. We will list numerous ways to find the perfect candidate, to interview them, and we'll describe how you should handle the aftermath and make them feel at home in your new business. 

    Before even looking at candidates, make sure you know what you need. Over-hiring is bad for business, and under-hiring could cause existing employees to leave due to stress and being overworked. Hire within reason and according to your abilities and needs. 

    Before hiring someone based on a recommendation from a friend, make sure you check their background and general work ethic. This is crucial, as people tend to recommend their family and friends, and most of the time it will be solid. But, people mostly recommend with their hearts in the right place, but not their minds. The ultimate choice rests upon you. 

    With this in mind, we're going to walk you through some orthodox and unorthodox ways to look for potential candidates for your new and aspiring business.

    How to Find Barista Candidates in 12 Simple Steps


    Establish a great reputation for your restaurant 

    Having a good reputation for your restaurant is a must have for any decent and smart business owner. Boosting your reputation with different kinds of advertisement, promotional deals such as "buy one, get one free", and offering good, fresh, and new products are sure to attract more customers.

    More customers equal more positive reviews and more business overall. With more people come new potential employees, so be sure to keep that in mind! A good and regular customer can also make a good and respected employee, if handled correctly. Let potential baristas flock to your restaurant by relying on word of mouth. 

    Find out what good baristas look for in a job

    You can't be offering a job if you don't know what to offer. The best way to find out what you should offer your candidate is to ask a barista working in a successful restaurant. Find out what is a reasonable pay, what are the terms and conditions you should offer, and the rules your future employee should abide by.

    Don't try to cut corners! Paying your employee too little (or god forbid, too much) can be very bad for business. With the current young worker mentality being "Minimum wage, minimum effort", you need to pay your employees according to the position, their engagement, and the current market value of barista workers.

    barista job description

    Establish a partnership with local barista courses 

    If there is a barista course in your city or near your business, you're one lucky employer! The fresh graduates are always looking for work and are most likely to accept your offer if you offer it well. Consider looking at online courses and contacting them, you never know! 

    If you don't get the partnership with the course, don't fret! You can always advertise your business near and around it! 

    Ask another barista for a recommendation 

    Improving your business overall can definitely contribute to your hiring needs, so there is no need to be afraid to branch out and simply ask baristas in other successful café's where you can find your own potential employee. Never underestimate a good word from a professional!

    Being a barista is a profession where spoken word recommendations can take you a long way. What better recommendation than from an already established and good worker? 

    Baristas may have worked alongside each other and may have lost their job due to undercutting and overemployment, something you should keep in mind whilst hiring. You can find a freshly let go gem just from one conversation, so this step is cardinal. 

    Look at local based job boards 

    Depending on your country/state/location, you most likely have at least one Job site. Now, that doesn't necessarily have to be Monster or Glassdoor, but we're pretty sure that there is a useful and helpful local alternative. Keep it local, you don't need someone three states away applying for your job. 

    Job boards can be great, but only if you know how to play them! Don't let yourself miss out on that!

    Ask yourself: "If I was a barista looking for a job, where is the first place I would look?" The most likely answer is a popular job site. 

    Most of them are free to register your business on and can be kept up indefinitely according to the offerings of the job site. You can always keep candidates "in stock" if something unexpected happens, and as history has taught us, it's always best to be prepared for the worst! 


    Glassdoor offers millions of different jobs and could be your best friend in finding a new employee for your restaurant. It has a great employer section that basically speaks for itself. 

    It's very simple to use and can be a very effective tool if used right. You can research the in's and out's of Glassdoor's great offer right on their website, which offers you a free starting post limit and numerous success stories from both employers and employees. 

    Google for jobs 

    One of the best "Job Sites" you can use is Google for Jobs. Google for jobs uses new and advanced AI technology to find the perfect job for you! It searches through all the best job sites around including LinkedIn and Glassdoor and Is an important tool to use if you're an employer. 

    Make the AI work for you by spreading your business around all the popular sites for hiring. The age-old rule still stands up even concerning this topic, and can never be stressed enough: "persistence equals prosperity!" 

    Social Media Marketing 

    Social media marketing can be your best friend if you know how to market right. The first thing you will need to establish a good social media marketing campaign is a good designer. A good designer can help you make your business social media ready, and make it look more professional overall

    You should know what kind of designer you need. There are companies that offer designs for your website or social media, but they are mostly expensive. A good and cheap alternative is to find a freelancer on the numerous freelancer sites, such as

    You should consider hiring a social media manager. Now, managing your various social media accounts is not rocket science after all, but if you're too preoccupied with other more pressing matters, you should consider employing someone to make your job easier. 


    Make a Facebook page

    A smart man once said: "The Internet is the future of marketing." And he was more than right. Most people that don't use Facebook are old people and very young kids, certainly not your preferred employee type! 

    Make a Facebook page for your business and use it to hire employees. Be sure to sponsor your posts and make sure you produce original and interesting content. Not many people are going to visit your page and stroll through millions of the same coffee cup images, so keep it different! 

    With popularity come many opportunities, and if you establish yourself as a good employer and a good place for customers to spend their hard-earned cash, you will attract many potential employees. 

    Make an Instagram account 

    Instagram is just as good as Facebook to look for potential employees for your upstart business. If someone doesn't use Facebook, they most likely use Instagram. Instagram also has a business page, that can tell you all you need to know about running a business on it! 

    Unlike Facebook, Instagram is an image sharing social media website, catering even more to your target employee base. Make yourself seen, and impossible to avoid! Cater to young audiences, since being a barista is most popular among young people aged 18-30 years old. 

    Another plus of using social media to find that perfect employee is being able to see what they do in their own private time. You don't want to hire a problematic person to handle your money or, god forbid, ruin your product in any way, do you? See their habits and hobbies and determine if they're the right candidate for you! 

    Make a LinkedIn account 

    Unlike social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn is much more professionally oriented. People are most likely to use their best picture for the job, and offer a good description of their skills and previous work experience.

    This is both useful in displaying the recommendations and job experience and dangerous, because people can represent themselves better than they actually are. Hire with caution! 

    Look at local colleges/schools 

    Local colleges/schools can be jam-packed with crisp and fresh employees. Most of them are inexperienced, so you need to practice caution when hiring. Always look into their job history and recommendations, if they have any. 

    You're neither a course nor a babysitter, so find someone with previous barista experience. Hire someone to hand out fliers at local hotspots. 

    Look for artists, designers and other part timers 

    As previously mentioned, part timers and college kids go hand in hand. If you know how to get a hold of this demographic, you can open up a whole new window to your business that can offer you much needed relief with running your business. 

    Artists and designers make great baristas. Being a barista requires a bit of an artistic skill, even if it is only with coffee. A well made Mocha Latte and cappuccino should live up to their taste with their aesthetics, which is surprisingly hard to achieve without any art skill.

    Good looking drinks can also help you with the promotion of your restaurant. Combining well-presented food and drinks with a professional photographer could mean the world for your marketing efforts. Good and cheap photographers can also be found within local colleges, so you can kill two birds with one delicious stone! 


    Always employ celebrity shifters! 

    If you get the rare chance to employ a celebrity shifter, do so without a second thought! Celebrity shifters have the skills and the knowledge that they need to make them a exemplary employee. But be careful and ask yourself, why have they left the position they were previously occupying? 

    If the answer is they've moved to better things and bigger positions in the restaurant business, then you're in the clear! If they've lost the position they've held in the past, be sure to check out why. 

    Ask a hiring center

    Don't be afraid to seek professional help with your problem. There is no shame in getting help from someone who does it for a living. A hiring center may ask for a percent of the first or first few salaries paid to the employee but will be sure to supply employees as needed. 

    Hiring centers can most likely be found all around your city, and are a good way to find already legally and professionally checked potential candidates for your business. You can also find them online. Most of them are government owned, and are always looking for new employers, just like you are! 


    How to Interview Candidates and Find the Best Barista 

    So you've finally done it. You've advertised hard, you've done the best that you could and now you have numerous applications for your job position. But what now? Well, don't fret! We've got you covered, welcome to step two of employing the best possible candidate. 

    You need to be cautious about whom you hire. You don't want a potential bad apple to spoil your opinion of all your candidates, so make sure you keep a fresh and open mind whilst interviewing your future employees.


    Check out their Job History

    The job history can most likely tell you a lot about your potential candidate. Too many different workplaces can mean that they can't keep a job for a long time, which is certainly something you want to avoid. You don't want someone who is going to stay there for a couple of weeks and call it quits, do you?

    But on the other hand, too few jobs in their background can mean they are inexperienced, and that can be just as bad. You need to watch out for people who just aren't cut out to work in your bar or restaurant.

    If you already have one barista and need more because your business unexpectedly took off and there's a huge demand, see if your current employee is willing to teach their skills to an inexperienced new candidate. 

    If they are, you might be able to find an employee without much hassle, and could end up with a loyal and hardworking employee for a long time, as long as you treat them right as an employer. 

    Check out their recommendations

    Recommendations do matter, quite a lot actually! Look at your potential employee's CV, as if examined right, it could tell you all you need to know about them. 

    Business recommendations, personal recommendations, friend recommendations or better yet, current employee recommendations can be a great way to get new and fresh people to work for you. As stated before, they could be potentially dangerous, but with proper thinking, you can make it work for you. 

    If they have business recommendations, if they have worked in the field somewhere before applying to your job, ask them why they left. Did they do something wrong? Did they leave themselves? If so, think about it. Can you offer them a better workplace? If the answer is yes, still check them out! 

    Don't be afraid to call their past employer and check out their work ethic and work history, their strengths and weaknesses, it can all be crucial to your business! 

    First impressions matter! 

    Now for the longest segment, you need to pay special attention to first impressions. First impressions matter for a bastion of reasons and can tell you most of the things you need to know about a candidate.

    Starting with the candidate's general approach to you and their attitude towards the job, there are many things and subtle body language tricks you can learn to help you pick out the best possible person for your job. Here we're going to list some tips and tricks to keep in mind whilst interviewing your candidate. 

    The handshake. Every interview starts with a handshake. You don't want someone to hand you a wet, freshly killed fish of a weak and sweaty handshake. A firm handshake is a sign of respect among other things, such as determination and positive attitude.

    Watch your candidate. Someone who is distracted may not be paying attention to your offer or is there just to waste everyone's time. Now, your time is too precious and not to be wasted, so you need to keep an eye out for any signs of negative behavior.

    Keep an eye out for their body language. Are they nervous? Why? If they are showing signs of nervous behavior such as tapping feet, fidgeting with a pen, pencil, their hair, and looking down at their feet, ask yourself why that is. That can be a sign of uncertainty, something you need to take into account.

    Important things to keep in mind 

    No one is asking your candidates to go full black tie for their interview for a barista job at a local restaurant, but do keep an eye out for their outfit. If you were going on a job interview, would you dress in filthy, trashy or indecent clothes? Of course not, and you shouldn't tolerate sloppy behavior from someone that will serve drinks in your establishment. 

    Make a note of their general attitude. Do they really want it? Do they, without a doubt in their minds, want to put in the effort and the hours? If it seems so, then it is a good sign. But still, don't put your guard down. A soft employer is an employer who loses money! 

    No one is telling you that you shouldn't be one of those "cool" employers, but business is still business, and employees are still employees. No one is stopping you from befriending your current or future employees, but a strict and functional employee-employer relationship is a general must have if you want a successful business.

    No professional wants to work for someone who's too personal and unprofessional, so practice what you preach. Keep your back straight, do a firm handshake, and know what questions to ask. 

    When you have finally gotten all the information you need from your potential candidates, given that you've written the crucial points on a piece of paper or in your computer, now is the time to find the best possible one. 

    No one is expecting an answer hours after the interview, so feel free to take your time and really analyze all the new information you have been given or have gathered yourself and get to work! 


    So that is about all the ins and outs of hiring new baristas. If you've gotten to the end of this article and acted accordingly, you shouldn't have had any problems with this otherwise straining process made simple by us here at Workstream.

    We wish you nothing but the best experience and the best of luck and hope you will follow us for more tips, tricks, and instructions on running a successful business, among many other topics. 

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    Workstream is a hiring platform that helps employers get 4x the number of qualified applicants. The world's most trusted brands use Workstream to optimize job board postings, automate screening and interview scheduling, communicate via text message, and streamline the onboarding/training process. See what all the buzz is about by scheduling a demo or email us!

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