Barista Job Description: Blending Service and Skill

Published September 16, 2021
Female barista making coffee with customer standing in background at cafe

A barista is an individual who prepares and serves coffee and other types of specialty beverages in a coffee shop or similar establishment, but there is much more to the job than that. Whether you are hiring a barista and need to explain the position or have previously worked as one and are wondering what to say on your resume, you'll find it helpful to review a general job description for this type of role.

General Barista Job Description

While there may be some differences in barista jobs from one employer to another, there are a number of elements that tend to be common to all barista positions.

Barista Job Duties

Working as a barista involves a wide variety of duties associated with interacting with customers, processing purchases, and preparing specialty beverages. Barista responsibilities often include tasks like:

  • Greets customers pleasantly and politely, ensuring they feel welcome and valued
  • Interacts with customers to identify what kinds of beverages and other items they wish to order
  • Answers customer questions about the various available beverage options and sizes
  • Provides customers with details about what is in various beverages and how they are made
  • Builds business by upselling add-ons to customers' initial orders
  • Accurately processes customer orders and payment transactions
  • Prioritizes customer satisfaction by ensuring order accuracy, timely delivery, and pleasant interactions
  • Prepares coffee drinks and other specialty beverages according to company guidelines
  • Properly and safely operates equipment used to produce beverages and other items
  • Keeps up with inventory of coffee beans and other ingredients used in beverages
  • Communicates with management about supply levels to ensure that necessary items are in stock at all times
  • Properly cleans, troubleshoots, and maintains equipment used to prepare beverages
  • Notifies management of equipment problems that need to be addressed via service calls
  • Follows safety and sanitation regulations and organizational standards at all times
  • Seeks and suggests opportunities to improve the customer experience
  • Participates in educational opportunities related to product knowledge, industry trends, and company standards

Skills and Characteristics Necessary to Work as a Barista

Succeeding in a barista role requires a wide variety of skills and personal characteristics. Even someone who has never worked as a barista before probably has some of these skills. Interviewers should ask questions designed to get a sense of each candidate's skill level. Those looking for work as a barista should provide answers that emphasize these types of skills.

  • Communicate effectively with customers and coworkers
  • Greets customers with a smile
  • Maintains a positive attitude in a fast-paced work environment
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Ensures customer satisfaction
  • Exhibits patience with explaining or describing the same products multiple times each day
  • Listens effectively to customers and coworkers
  • Correctly and efficiently operates a cash register
  • Accurately processes various types of payment transactions
  • Records and communicates complex orders so they are always accurate
  • Properly uses equipment needed to process various types of coffee drinks and specialty beverages
  • Effectively works in a process-focused team environment
  • Commits to doing what is best for the team player/team orientation

Example Barista Job Descriptions for a Resume

If you have worked as a barista and are looking for the right way to highlight your experience on your resume, consider the following examples as you are writing your resume. Adapt the wording so that it is specific to your particular job. The language in the job description that follows may help you decide how to accurately describe your role.

  • ABC Coffee Curators, Barista (August 2020 - present): Work as a barista during the morning shift. Primary duties include providing excellent customer service, including taking orders, describing menu selections and preparation techniques, and accurately processing transactions, as well as preparing and serving an extensive selection of coffee drinks and specialty beverages using complex equipment in a team environment. Additional duties involve troubleshooting, sanitizing, and properly maintaining commercial beverage preparation equipment.
  • Moonfire Coffee, Barista (August 2020 - present): Responsible for curating an outstanding experience for customers seeking coffee drinks or other specialty beverages. Prioritize customer service by sharing knowledge of menu items with customers and helping them select beverages ideally suited to them, while upselling add-ons such as pastries and coffee beans for brewing at home. Played a key role in preparing delicious and accurate orders.

Describing Barista Qualifications

Describing a barista job can be difficult, as it involves much more than taking orders and serving coffee. The language provided in the general job description above can help you decide how to best explain what is involved in working as a barista. Of course, there will be some variation in exact duties and requirements at different companies, but the basics of the job are fairly constant. Start with this overview of a barista role, then adjust it to be specific to your qualifications and needs.

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Barista Job Description: Blending Service and Skill