Work smarter. Not harder.

– By Will Glover, Business Development Manager

Work smarter not harder. As hospitality professionals, we’ve all been told this at some point, here are some shortcuts to make your everyday coffee service run smoothly and efficiently.

Have infrastructure in place to ensure continuity and consistency.

Just like WBC scoring, cleanliness and workstation management is an integral component of preparing award winning coffee. Every tool you use should have a purpose and a home. The best way to define this is to create a template for your workspace. Through this process, you can identify which tools are a priority and belong in a designated area. Document this visually with photos and make it part of your induction training to get your entire team on board. Laminate opening and closing procedure templates to assist in ensuring consistency. In pursuing perfection, it can often lead to micro-management, have your baristas complete these daily for accountability and eliminate sweating the little things to get the job done properly.

We’re often told, “we’re too busy to clean!” Rubbish! Set a “cleaning” timer on your machine to go off every 60 minutes. Clean each group head by backflushing whilst cleaning each portafilter and basket with a damp cloth. If you’re quick about this and don’t run any water through the portafilter your next extraction won’t be compromised and will taste delicious!

Getting hammered? Restart the timer again and when service starts to slow back down the timer will act as a reminder “Hey, I swear it’s been longer than 10 minutes since our last clean. Yeah, that’s right, we were flat out when it went off!

We cannot stress the importance of this enough, so often machine cleanliness is the difference between a great espresso and a phenomenal espresso.

Get creative with your workstation mise en plus.

It’s 9am on a busy Saturday and you’re pumping out chinos so effortlessly it’s like poetry in motion. You glance and grin at your nearest colleague and think to yourself “We’re killing it!” But then disaster strikes! You spill a takeaway and now your cloths resemble a newspaper left in the rain, the printer spits out a docket with three milk variations, no open bonsoy and no scissors in sight and to top it off your chocolate duster is empty causing your completed cappuccinos to be binned!

Mise en plus is so important when it comes to barista efficiency. This should tie back into your opening/closing templates. You can create columns for backup folded cloths, refilling the chocolate duster, opening bonsoy or even preparing coffee bags for the hopper by opening them and placing on the back bar.

“I find the best place to store slightly damp back up cloths is in the bar fridge so I can quickly swap them out.” says Jamie Thomson, Veneziano Business Development Manager

Make sure that when it comes to disposables you have sufficient backup that’s already removed from its packaging. This infrastructure is guaranteed to increase efficiency and ultimately lead to more customer engagement.

Less is more.

We frequently encounter over stocking and clutter at the pass of a workstation. Cut down the amount of saucers, lids, and other items at the pass and move your back up to a back bar or an appropriate location. How many cloths do you use? We prefer to have three neatly folded with a designated role. Try to keep one for your wand, one for your drip tray and one on the bench.

Workflow, workflow, workflow.

Station workflow is imperative to seamless service, develop a code or verbal shorthand that clearly communicates is what you need. Rather than a staff member having to be so specific, code like “mezzy reg” can be used in place of “Can I please have a 600ml jug textured for two full cream lattes?” Minimizing the amount of verbal communication will allow you to increase your customer service.

“When preparing coffees to order, try to combine milk variations into pairs to speed up your service” says Jade Jennings – Veneziano Training & Development Manager.

Pair orders together so that everyone wins. There is nothing wrong with jumping a soy based order from the next docket in the rail to pair with a single soy based order.

These tips will help you overcome the little challenges we face day to day as baristas and allow you to focus on creating a unique experience for the customer.