Baristas work in cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, or hotels to make a range of coffees, teas, and other speciality hot, iced, or cold blended drinks for customers.
Baristas serve customers hot and cold drinks and usually, a range of hot and cold foods, such as sandwiches, paninis, cakes, and anything else a cafe or establishment serves for morning, lunchtime, and daytime customers.
Find out more about our Barista job description, including salary ranges, training, and the latest mission offers from Brigad.
Now is the time to take the next leap in your career, and that’s where Brigad can help. Let’s look closer at the job description, qualities, salary ranges, and career offers for baristas in London.
What is a Barista ?
Baristas are employed to prepare a range of hot and cold drinks, usually in cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, or hotels. Working as a barista also involves preparing and serving food (pre-packaged), keeping workspaces and customer areas clean and hygienic, and providing excellent customer service throughout every shift.
What does a Barista do ?
A barista’s job description involves:
- Making a range of hot coffees and teas
- Making a range of iced coffees, including frappuccinos
- Ensuring customer allergies and tastes are catered for, such as using specialty milk and lactose-free milk
- Taking payment for orders and potentially counting up till takings at the end of the night
- Preparing any hot foods customers order, such as toasted sandwiches, toasties, paninis, and anything else on the menu
- Serving cold and tasty treats, such as cakes and cookies
- Serving customers at tables or at drive-through windows and preparing orders that have come in via online apps (e.g., JustEat, UberEats, etc.)
- Keeping the cafe and behind-the-counter areas clean and tidy and hygienic at all times
- Ensuring cups, glasses, and plates are cleared away from tables and cleaned
- Taking orders and deliveries and keeping an eye on stock levels and supplies
- Providing excellent customer service every time
- Keeping coffee-making machines clean and ready for the next time they’re needed
Baristas need to maintain hygiene standards in cafes and coffee shops, take deliveries of supplies for hot and cold drinks (coffees, teas, milk, ice, etc.), and ensure a cafe, coffee shop, or bar area is clean, closed down, and ready for the next day, and coordinate with other team members as per the demands of the job.
What qualities define a Barista ?
The qualities that define a barista include being a team player, being customer-focused and providing excellent customer service, and the training and skills to prepare hot and cold drinks, and food when that’s served.
The Latest Offers for Baristas across London and the UK
If you're a Barista looking for short-term work and flexibility, follow these three simple steps to begin receiving mission proposals:
- Register as self-employed Head Chef before signing up for Brigad.
- Download the app and sign up in minutes; it's free, and there's no commitment required.
- Create and personalize your profile to start receiving mission proposals. You're free to decide whether to accept or decline them.
How to hire a Barista using Brigad app ?
Finding a reliable Barista can be time-consuming and talent is harder to find in the industry now.
To hire a qualified Barista using Brigad app or website, 3 steps are sufficient:
- Create an account on the Brigad app or website (free registration and no commitment)
- Set up your missions in a few clicks specify the required skills, dress code, equipment, duration, payment method, and more.
- Submit your mission and let the algorithm handle the rest!
Once you set up a mission, it's sent to talents with the relevant skills in your area.
When a talent accepts, you'll be notified and can then connect with them directly.
All Baristas undergo a strict vetting process to ensure the best match.
UK companies that are hiring Baristas
Trusted by over 10,000 businesses to reinforce their teams, Brigad is widely used by both large groups and independent businesses in every sector of the hospitality industry.
The platform offers a connection with thousands of highly qualified, self-employed hospitality professionals such as Baristas.
Typical Baristas employers include:
- Coffee stores
- Restaurants and hotels
- Corporate organisations
UK Barista salary ranges
UK barista salaries vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the type of establishment. In London and Birmingham, and nationwide coffee shop chains, cafes, bars, restaurants, and hotels, baristas can earn more than working for independent coffee shops in rural areas.
On average, barbacks can earn anywhere from £20,000 to £22,000, and it’s possible to earn tips to boost wages, too.
How to Become a Barista ?
A barista is usually an entry-level role in the hospitality, fast food, catering, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. You don’t need formal training or qualifications, and any training is usually on-the-job. Once you’ve mastered being a barista, then you could be promoted to team leader or coffee shop or cafe manager role.
Or, if you’re a barista in a restaurant, pub, or hotel restaurant, then there are even more opportunities, such as a bar manager, restaurant manager, or cooking roles, depending on your career goals and ambitions.
When a new role becomes available, either where you’re working or somewhere else, Brigad could have exciting new self-employed barista opportunities for you to explore.
How to Become a Self-employed Barista?
Self-employment is increasingly popular across dozens of job roles, including for baristas in coffee shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, pubs, and the hospitality industry. Going self-employed as a barista is easier than you’d think.
To become a freelance Barista, follow these essential steps:
- Register as a Sole Trader with HMRC: This is a crucial first step, requiring minimal paperwork and enabling legal self-employment.
- Obtain a UTR Number from HMRC: Secure your Unique Taxpayer Reference number, necessary for tax purposes and identification as a sole trader.
- Meet Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you're eligible for self-employment in the UK, especially important for non-EU international students who may face restrictions.
- Manage Your Tax Affairs: Be responsible for submitting an annual self-assessment tax return based on your income and expenses.
- Maintain Accurate Financial Records: Keep detailed records of all your income and expenses for tax purposes.
- Understand Tax Obligations: Familiarize yourself with tax bands and VAT requirements as they apply to self-employed professionals.
As a self-employed Barista, you have the opportunity to explore diverse working options. This includes the ability to combine freelance projects with long-term contracts, providing a varied and dynamic career path. You also enjoy significant work flexibility, allowing you to select your work schedule and locations that best align with your personal goals and preferences.
Additionally, it's important to stay informed by regularly consulting official government resources for any updates or new information related to self-employment.
Why choose the position of Barista?
Working as a barista is a great way to get your foot in the door in the hospitality, fast food, catering, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.
As a barista, you can gain valuable customer-facing experience in a fast-paced environment that could help you get promoted to more senior managerial positions if you want a long-term career in cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, or hotels.
How to be a good Barista ?
The best way to demonstrate your skills as a barista that can lead to promotions and higher salaries is by doing a good job every day as a barista, learning new skills, and securing a good reference if you’re ready to enjoy new career opportunities with Brigad.
What are the working conditions for a Barista?
Barista working conditions vary depending on the establishment. In cafes and coffee shops, shift work means it’s either morning or daytime, and in some cases, evenings (but rarely later than 8 pm). Weekend work is also quite normal for baristas.
However, if you’re a barista in a restaurant or hotel food & beverage (F&B) operation or for a catering company, then the hours could be evenings and weekends.
Typical working hours of a Barista
Barista working hours depend on where you work. Shifts could either be morning or daytime or if you’re working in an establishment that caters to an evening crowd, then they’ll be afternoon and evening shifts. Weekend work is also normal for baristas, although shift patterns usually mean this isn’t going to be every weekend.
If you’re looking for a change of pace, more flexibility, and a better work-life balance, then Brigad could be the answer you're looking for.
Brigad can connect you with missions that better suit your lifestyle and what you want to earn as an independent self-employed barista.
What career progression is Possible for a Barista ?
Baristas with some experience could work to get promoted to more senior managerial positions if you want a long-term career in cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, or hotels.
Opportunities are endless at this point in your career, and Brigad could open doors that will help you take the next step.
Frequently Asked Questions
What equipment or work attire does a Barista Need ?
A Barista needs several essential pieces of equipment to craft coffee and espresso beverages effectively, including an espresso machine, coffee grinder, steaming wands, tampers, and milk frothing pitchers. In terms of work attire, a typical barista outfit consists of a clean and neat barista apron or uniform, comfortable and non-slip shoes to ensure safety, and gloves for handling hot equipment and protecting against burns.
This attire and equipment combination enables Baristas to provide quality coffee service while maintaining hygiene and safety standards.
How hard is it to be a Barista ?
Becoming a Barista can vary in difficulty depending on your prior experience, the complexity of the coffee establishment, and your ability to adapt to a fast-paced environment.
Basic Barista skills, such as making espresso and brewed coffee, can be learned relatively quickly. However, mastering latte art, perfecting the craft of espresso extraction, and consistently providing excellent customer service may require more time and practice. Overall, with dedication and training, many people find that becoming a proficient Barista is achievable.