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If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

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  • If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

    Where Im working, we do upto 9 - 11kg a day of coffee. About 7kg of that in the first four hours in the morning.

    There are two baristas only, one on shots, one on milk. Weve both come to the conclusion, that specialty coffee, although nice, is completely impossible with the current setup, at least until the afternoon when it settles down and only one of us needs to be on the machine.

    But that period in the morning is insane. Weve taken to methods of leaving the grinders chamber full (although we burn through that in a matter of moments if the grinder isnt turned on), so instead of waiting 8 - 10 seconds for a full basket, were waiting .. two seconds. :P Ive been keeping milk jugs consistent to their type (full, skim, soy) but pouring excess into a bigger 1.5L waste jug and cleaning the jugs about every four - five steam sessions. Weve thrown heating the cups up with water out the window, simply because we just dont have the time. We dont have a third person, and its in-house as well as a take-away window.

    Its a little compak grinder, its a WEGA atlas three group. It gets PUNISHED. If the barista on shots isnt pulling, hes steaming milk on his side too. Im suprised the WEGAs pressure keeps up.. But anyway, what other techniques do you guys reckon we could take on board to pick up speed?

    Variables such as a third person at take-away window on till, a second machine and a better grinder dont seem to be options.

    This is literally a victim of its own success scenario, and weve been told we need to pick up the speed by our higher-ups. So with that said, Id just like to say, Im pretty confident in out ability to pump out coffee, Id say were physically moving mountains here already.

    Just need some outside opinions.

  • #2
    Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

    Originally posted by 54696475726774060 link=1263033882/0#0 date=1263033882
    Where Im working, we do upto 9 - 11kg a day of coffee. About 7kg of that in the first four hours in the morning.

    There are two baristas only, one on shots, one on milk. Weve both come to the conclusion, that specialty coffee, although nice, is completely impossible with the current setup, at least until the afternoon when it settles down and only one of us needs to be on the machine.

    But that period in the morning is insane. Weve taken to methods of leaving the grinders chamber full (although we burn through that in a matter of moments if the grinder isnt turned on), so instead of waiting 8 - 10 seconds for a full basket, were waiting .. two seconds. :P Ive been keeping milk jugs consistent to their type (full, skim, soy) but pouring excess into a bigger 1.5L waste jug and cleaning the jugs about every four - five steam sessions. Weve thrown heating the cups up with water out the window, simply because we just dont have the time. We dont have a third person, and its in-house as well as a take-away window.

    Its a little compak grinder, its a WEGA atlas three group. It gets PUNISHED. If the barista on shots isnt pulling, hes steaming milk on his side too. Im suprised the WEGAs pressure keeps up.. But anyway, what other techniques do you guys reckon we could take on board to pick up speed?

    Variables such as a third person at take-away window on till, a second machine and a better grinder dont seem to be options.

    This is literally a victim of its own success scenario, and weve been told we need to pick up the speed by our higher-ups. So with that said, Id just like to say, Im pretty confident in out ability to pump out coffee, Id say were physically moving mountains here already.

    Just need some outside opinions.
    Foot switch for the steam...

    All things considered... It is really one of work FLOW review... Time and motion study..  

    At the end of the day... Look at the things you can not  / do not have much control over...

    Then look at the time wasters...

    Then the Quality hat on and ask why  at least six times...


    A: Coffee takes xxx long to pour
    B: Milk takes x min to steam...
    C: Plate up and hand over


    It can be simple or very detailed.. A master overview of your processes... Start and all the way to Stop.

    Then break down the processors into swim lanes and look at where some parallel processing can be done...

    Then the Manual Processors Vs Machine processors...

    As I said before.. Steam wand on and off can be time consuming and also restricts your freedom etc..

    Thus a foot switch / lever / flick, could save you time...  And free up ya hand for other minor chores...

    However... There is always a break even point..  Once you go past that... It can turn upside down on you in a flash...

    A little like sales... Ya get a target, you meet it.. Ya next target is increased, ya put in extra effort and you just meet it...  Sooner or later you will hit the wall and or teh market will be saturated (Product dependent OR physical restraint); but will the boss care ....NO

    Let us know what ya come up with...

    [edit]PS: So if one of you gets sick or hit by a red bus; how easy is it to have some one else step up to the mark...  There is also the issue of WHS and Food management ? [/edit]

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    • #3
      Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

      Sounds like youre moving mountains to me too Robstar!

      Tell your "higher ups" to get their butts down to the machine and let them see how much youre doing at the moment, rather than just sitting back and enjoying the takings... :

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      • #4
        Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

        Ive worked in a few different places.

        One that was easiest for me was in the corporate cafe of a big Sydney law firm. I didnt actually have to take orders, since I had an order pad where the staff just ticked their selection, indicated have in or T/A, sugar etc and added it to the queue.

        I averaged 75 coffees an hour over 2 2 hour service periods, peaking at around 100/hr, on a three group machine.

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        • #5
          Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

          mate if you are turning over that volume of coffee then there is no excuses in my opinion for the higher ups not to invest in higher end equipment - thats the same volume we were turning over at my old cafe and I constantly upgraded to meet demand - better equipment means better coffee in skilled hands due to minimisation of error (where technology such as automated pre-infusion can compensate somewhat for say slightly uneven dosing)

          also highly recommend switching the dial for the steam wand over to a lever if this has not been done already and working on honing your dose, collapse, and tamp technique so that there is the least amount of effort required to produce the best possible result - which  means less wear and tear on the barista at the end of the day!

          Cheers,

          ACg

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          • #6
            Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

            Next time your bosses hassle you to go faster ask them what the ROI on your salary is and how that compares to industry standard.

            With the gross profit theyre making on coffee they could afford to buy a Robur every second day.

            P.S. ROI = return on investment

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            • #7
              Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

              At that speed just be careful on your own personal wear and tear.  You dont want to go so fast that it is without regard to your own personal health and safety.  Ive previously been the meat in the grinder and over time it killed me because I didnt look after myself.

              The devils advocate comes out now and I have to ask is- just how important is it to grind to serve for every single cup when you are flat out slammed?

              Im going to make a lot of anecdotal assumptions and say-
              One grinder doing that much volume will have some hot burr action killing flavour.  Assuming that most ppl are drinking coffee with 1-2 sugars and the normal size most ppl get is 12oz, will your average customer taste the difference between

              a) having a full grinder and going through its entire contents in about 2min
              b) grinding to serve for every group handle specifically

              Can you taste the difference when that happens?
              Can you account for and negate these differences by a change to your dosing/grind?

              As long as your set criteria is fresh milk in every coffee with minimal to no milk wastage, would it really matter what size jug you are using to steam milk? If you want to pour latte art you can always split to a smaller jug to pour.

              You dont have to make coffee like a competition barista to be a specialty barista, but a lot of the aspects of a competition barista can still be used in a rush that will make you a specialty barista. Knowing how to tighten your work routine also goes towards helping you be a better comp barista as well.

              The other option at the end of all this if you want to take more time and care with it all, go and work for a company that has the type of work environment that you want if you are not satisfied in your current position.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

                I go through between 4 -6 kgs a day at my work by myslef and like you, most of it is before lunch.

                The foot pedal for steam is good, allowing me to take customers money whilst steaming BUT.... I cant hang a jug off that arm.

                If your not hanging jugs then you could start doing that.

                And extra person to take orders and run in house coffees and stock you guys up. That same person can do you rinsing of your jugs and even dosing groups.

                It sounds to me like they want more money and dont really care about the quality...if thats the case then tell them the only way that is going to happen is with cheaper milk and coffee.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

                  I remember in tha bad ol days of bg&d Box Hill (for CSers who have been around for a while) where I used to do 7kg between 7am and 1pm by myself on a 2 gp with a Rossi conical. We thought our coffee was pretty good at that stage- which I guess it was in the big picture of what was happening then. No way could I do that volume now and serve at a standard I would be satisfied with....

                  Thinking back to Celebrate the Bean, 4 x 3 group machines 8 baristas and 90+ kg between 10-5...How any of it was actually drinkable I know not. Nevertheless, the punters frequently told us the "best shot" story...not that that means much at those events

                  Chris

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                  • #10
                    Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

                    So Ive been noting all these posts down, creating a nice little presentation model on why we should have a third person on at all times. Simply due to the fact that as far as physical restraints are concerned, we, the baristas cannot go any faster on delivering a cup of coffee with out current methods. Not without having a bucket filled with espresso and just taking 30ml shots out of that bucket and dumping it into cups.

                    Alot of the higher-ups argument is that the customer doesnt know the difference, so it almost seems were creating a massive illusion by having the best milk around town and a well respected roaster feeding us the beans, so there is a bit of a contradiction.

                    Nonetheless, the main point was methods on how to improve the workflow so it takes off some of the stress off when it is busy, but still maintain that volume. The steam pedal is a great idea, one I shall propose; a better grinder with the ROI argument is another good point I could make to the boss. Comparing a grinder that could dose a full basket in 2-3 seconds over the current 8 - 10 seconds, hopefully might mean something. A third person who can handle all the tasks necessary such as stocking, orders, etc, another good point, I think the boss may listen to this one request. Anytime I jump off the milk to take an order, everything turns upside down.

                    ..thankfully its my day off today, so maybe I can put something in action in the next six days at work. ;x

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                    • #11
                      Re: If quality wasnt a factor, how fast could you go?

                      Sounds like the sort of figures weve been going through at work, the 10days from boxing day have really punished us and we needed, demanded and got a third person during peak hours. Its literally such a huge difference to have the runner there to get you the milk out of storage fridge, to plate up, to put the orders up and step in when you need some one to explain stuff to a customer (seriously, which one is the cap?! which one looks like a cap!!!) perhaps restrain your stressed out self lol.

                      We have a second machine which is going unused because someone higher up "doesnt like it" and the till would need to be moved to make getting order dockets to it less trouble than the current positioning allows. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue - but if theres ever a time to speak up, its now while they can see the money flowing in the door.

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