Thursday, November 22, 2012

Allegra 2012 Award for Best Independent Coffee Shop BNL

With Hopper 2nd and The Village 3rd. Nice podium isn't it?
And proud of course.
Thanks to the Barista's. Yes that's what i said on stage after Jeffrey offered me the trophee.

And, briefly, the key to succes in 3 small steps :
1) Get your Barista's trained. I mean better. I see a lot of Barista's with all kinds or degrees these days, and then they think they are Barista. It's a profession dudes. And you only get better while practicing, and by preference in a real espresso bar on serious equipment. And, if possible, aside of an experienced Barista.
We train appr 35 professional Barista's a year.  All our trainers are people who still pull their own shots on an almost daily basis.
I see a lot of Barista trainers who are not behind the machine anymore. They need to get their asses back there. In between the youngsters and some other fanatic Barista's learning the small in-and-outs. Maybe just ask the specialty bar around the corner to do a weekly shift. Or at least a monthly visit and play with the newest coffee's and equipment. You'll notice you lost a lot of the 'real' stuff in your training room!

2) You have to pay your Barista's better. They are the face of your company. They make or break you, and it better be the first thing.
What your clients are paying for is a piece of art. Without good Barista's you won't have a good bar!! So, train them better. Make sure they perform. And then pay them properly.
Of course I see a lot of 'Baristas' doing the dishes, spreading sandwiches, making soups, serving cola's. Well then you are probably running a sandwich bar or restaurant and then we talk about a different ball game.
But an espresso or specialty coffee bar needs to focus on coffee and it's the Barista that's running the show, so pay him/her for it!

3) Looking for a new Barista? Don't look too far.
I have 2 or 3 people a week asking for a job. And the first thing I ask is if they are Caffenation fans. If they are not visiting the bar from time to time I won't hire them.
I hire people who love the bar and its atmosphere and coffee (of course). This way we are sure this future Barista knows us, we know him or her and we will all be one big happy family.

So, again; it's not me who made Caffenation win the award, it's the team of Barista's who did it!

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