How The Strong Inventory Relates to a Career as a Barista

According to the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, individuals with a high interest in the Enterprising Theme Code are often characterized as assertive, energetic, self-confident, and witty. Individuals who belong to Enterprising Theme Code work best in a fast-paced, competitive, and business-oriented environment. Barista roles can be a good fit for individuals with the Enterprising Theme Code as they involve customer service, selling products, and social and interpersonal relations with the customers. They are often the front-line workers who interact directly with customers and take charge of making and serving coffee drinks, food items, and other beverages. Working as a barista requires good customer service skills, the ability to multitask and work quickly in a fast-paced environment, and the ability to handle cash transactions. 

What Does a Barista Do?  

Baristas are responsible for making and serving clients various kinds of coffee and other beverages. They often work at coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, and other similar establishments where they prepare and serve clients a variety of coffees and other hot and cold beverages. The job requires being attentive and energetic, as they are responsible for preparing beverages to customer specifications, as well as maintaining a clean and organized working area. In addition to making drinks, baristas may also be responsible for handling cash and credit card transactions, as well as restocking supplies and keeping track of inventory. Effective communication skills are also important in this role, as baristas must communicate daily with customers, co-workers, and supervisors.

Strong Interest Inventory® (SII) Enterprising Theme Code Barista Career

Learn all about a career as a Barista, including career stats such as median salary, daily tasks, employment growth, and more!

A Barista Day-to-Day Tasks and Tools

Baristas’ typical day-to-day tasks may vary depending on the coffee shops or café where they work. However, common tasks that they have includes greeting and welcoming customers before they can proceed in taking their orders. They prepare and serve their customer coffee, beverages, as well as food items according to the customer’s orders and preferences. They are also accountable for handling cash transactions, operating cash registers, and managing inventories. Baristas are also responsible for cleaning, organizing, and maintaining shop equipment, such as espresso machines, grinders, and milk frothers.

As stated by The Department of Labor, The Following Work Tasks are Most Often Completed by Baristas: 

  • Process customer bills or payments.
  • Serve food or beverages.
  • Prepare hot or cold beverages.
  • Clean food service areas.
  • Clean tableware.
  • Communicate dining or order details to kitchen personnel.
  • Take customer orders and requests.
  • Present food or beverage information or menus to customers.
  • Measure ingredients.

(Retrieved from O’ Baristas Career. Career Code: 35-3023.01. Detailed Work Activities)

Core Activities for Baristas:

  • Accept and process customer payments.
  • Prepare or serve hot or cold beverages, such as coffee, espresso drinks, blended coffees, or teas.
  • Take customer orders and convey them to other employees for preparation.
  • Clean or sanitize work areas, utensils, or equipment.
  • Describe menu items to customers or suggest products that might appeal to them.
  • Clean service or seating areas.
  • Serve prepared foods, such as muffins, biscotti, or bagels.
  • Prepare or serve menu items, such as sandwiches or salads.
  • Set up or restock product displays.
  • Provide customers with product details, such as coffee blends or preparation descriptions.

(Retrieved from O’ Baristas Career. Career Code: 35-3023.01. Tasks)

Baristas typically use a range of equipment and tools in their day-to-day work to make coffee and other drinks. This can include espresso machines, coffee grinders, milk frothers, blenders, and other tools used to create coffee beverages. They also use cash registers and point-of-sale systems to process customer orders and payments. Some baristas may also use order management systems to keep track of inventory and customer orders. In order to properly use the equipment, baristas typically receive training on the operation and maintenance of the tools they use.

Experience and Education

 To work as a barista, one typically does not need a specific higher education degree, but it is common for employers to require a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some employers may prefer or require some relevant work experience or training in customer service and food service. Some coffee shops and chains offer in-house training programs to teach baristas how to make coffee drinks, operate equipment, follow food safety protocols, interact with customers, and handle money. Additionally, some baristas may choose to seek certification from organizations such as the Specialty Coffee Association of America or the Barista Guild of America to demonstrate their skills and knowledge to employers and customers. The certification process usually involves completing a course and passing a written exam or practical test.

Working at an artisan coffee shop often requires a higher level of skill and training compared to a regular coffee shop. Artisan coffee shops typically focus on producing high-quality, specialty coffee drinks using premium ingredients and brewing methods. As such, baristas in these types of shops are expected to have a deeper understanding of coffee, its origins, and the various brewing methods. They need to be able to prepare a variety of coffee drinks with precision, including espresso-based drinks, pour-over coffee, and manual brew methods like French press and Chemex.

Salary and Wages

On average, baristas in the United States earn around $10-12 per hour, with some earning as much as $15 per hour. Some baristas are eligible for benefits such as paid time off, health insurance, and discounts on food and drinks. To augment their salary, a barista can work in a high-end artisan coffee shop, which often pays more, or they can choose to work in a supervisory or managerial role. Additionally, baristas can increase their earning potential by taking on additional responsibilities, such as training new hires, or by working longer hours or during peak times. They can also attend workshops and training programs to learn new skills and techniques, which can make them more valuable to employers.

Below are some employment trends for Baristas:

  • Median Salary: $12.07 hourly, $25,100 annually
  • Employment: 3,195,600 employees
  • Projected growth (2021-2031): Faster than average (8% to 10%)
  • Projected job openings (2021-2031): 741,400
[Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections]

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections