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Most efficient techniques for two baristas to work together?

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  • Most efficient techniques for two baristas to work together?

    Hey guys!

    Im stuck with a dilemma, the pace of the weekend rushes is starting to pick up at the cafe Im working at, and need some advice as the the best techniques to handling them.

    During rushes we are getting approximately 4 standard coffee orders per minute (CPM) and up to 6 CPM when taking into account larger cup sizes. These rushes usually last for 15-20mins, but can be sustained for hours on end (especially around Christmas time!).

    Now obviously one person cant handle that rate without some seriously shifty technique (or could they?). Right now I use a steaming platform to make milk while doing shots, with one cycle making about 6 standard coffees, and taking around 4 minutes. Though on average its about 1 CPM. The strategy I use is to prioritize orders that can be completed in one cycle (Using 1 milk type, or small orders), and putting a small delay on orders that are using more than one milk type, or are would take an excessive amount of time. This works generally speaking, except some orders can end up waiting 10 minutes which to me is unacceptable, and it isnt sustainable for long periods of time.

    Our multi-barista strategy is essentially one barista makes milk, while the other does shots and pours/sets up drinks. Considering that you can milk whilst doing shots, the only time saved is in the pouring and setting up of drinks, which isnt a huge saving. Plus there is a work imbalance as the milk cant be used as fast as its made. So, the saving is minimal compared to a single barista (only a 30% increase in output).

    There is another like minded barista I work with, so we devised our own technique. Essentially we are both working individually on completing orders, but work together to tackle large/multi-milk type orders. This is hugely effective, as we can produce 2CPM of any milk type, such that large orders dont delay the smaller orders, and we are both working at maximum efficiency.

    The problem is this is against the status quo of our workplace. Most of our baristas dont work well together due to a lack of communication, and use different approaches to making coffee (no comment). In addition, the layout of the coffee area isnt particularity suited to having multiple baristas. Its a rather cramped and a highly trafficked area, such that is isnt a good idea to have two baristas working around eachother. For those reasons, managers hate it, no matter how effective it is.

    Calling on the vast cafe expertise of the coffee snobs members, what techniques have you found that are effective at handling rush periods? Im very interested in learning how those CBD cafes serve armies of thirsty patrons at a near lightning rates.

    Cheers guys,
    Trev



  • #2
    Re: Most efficient techniques for two baristas to work together?

    Hi Trev,

    A couple of questions that will come up is it a 2 or 3 grp? Also is it a volumetric and do you use the buttons?

    With my 3 grp lever I found that with one on shots and pouring milk and one steaming flat out worked with a bit of cross over to pouring as needed to keep it even, even a 3rd taking and handing out orders/money at lunatic times helps. When it is just moderate each does everything from orders to service not as efficient but easier and less repeat chat.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Most efficient techniques for two baristas to work together?

      Yep, we are using a three group volumetric, using the buttons as well, with two steams wands. For the shots we use the grinder doser, so the process of pulling shots isnt very time consuming.

      Luckily its a bistro cafe, so we have servers taking the orders and worrying about the service side of things, which makes things much easier.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Most efficient techniques for two baristas to work together?

        Originally posted by 302E283137272B440 link=1286258847/0#0 date=1286258847
        Most of our baristas dont work well together due to a lack of communication, and use different approaches to making coffee (no comment). In addition, the layout of the coffee area isnt particularity suited to having multiple baristas. Its a rather cramped and a highly trafficked area, such that is isnt a good idea to have two baristas working around eachother. For those reasons, managers hate it, no matter how effective it is.
        Regardless of what you have said in the rest of the post...  The above statement contains some very Crucial information...

        And unless you address these, then the other issues will never go away.


        1:
        Most of our baristas dont work well together
        Get TG in and do a process audit from a Quality perspective.. (Brisbane based - Thus I and or K-man could do it for ya - Both Qualified Auditors but K-Man has more exposure)

        Find the root cause!

        2:
        due to a lack of communication, and
        Assumption by whom or just one persons view ?

        3:
        use different approaches to making coffee
        Ummm Cross training and sharing of knowledge = See outcome of TG and item 1: above.

        4:
        the layout of the coffee area isnt particularity suited to having multiple baristas - Its a rather cramped and a highly trafficked area
        Time and motion study... However does depend on methods being used . See point 3 above.

        5:  
        managers hate it, no matter how effective it is.
        Wrong statement, as sets up a loosing outcome before it even starts..

        Effective Vs Efficient  Vs Output and Staff Moral - A positive team approch along with a commitment to change the layout and ya manages will fight to be on a shift with the HOT team...

        It is about people management - NOT  things..


        If that does not work... Same way to train dogs and Apprentices..  When they step out side after doing the wrong thing... Bag over their head and beat the crap out of them with a lump of hardwood..  Then chant.  The beatings will continue until moral improves..

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Most efficient techniques for two baristas to work together?

          Originally posted by 4B55534A4C5C503F0 link=1286258847/0#0 date=1286258847
          Its a rather cramped and a highly trafficked area, such that is isnt a good idea to have two baristas working around eachother. For those reasons, managers hate it, no matter how effective it is.
          If managers hate then why are you trying to change things?

          Comment

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