Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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with courtesy and professionalism. Ellan agrees: "I've worked in environ- ments that have run the spectrum of the customer-is-right mentality. The more agency baristas have to own their space, the happier they are. Give them that trust and they will always earn the responsibili- ties that come with it." Some cafés have more growth opportunities than others, but in every sector of every industry, backdoor offers of unadvertised positions hinder group morale and prevent employee growth. Companies should allow every employee the opportunity to apply for any position, educational and travel opportu- nity, scholarship, etc. "It's really important for all workers to have the opportunity to apply for positions or educational spots," says Ellan. "It's really disheartening to see someone get a job or have a position created for them that other baristas would have totally applied for if they knew about it." Clear and transparent application pro- cesses cost very little and bring immense benefit to staff members and management alike. They not only benefit morale, but they provide employees opportunities to express interest even if they're not ready for the job quite yet. "Sometimes, someone you don't expect applies, and even if it's not their turn, it's good to know they're inter- ested," says Ellan. Many cafés have the resources to ex- change regular discounts with other local businesses, effectively setting up a local work community where baristas trade coffee services for the labor or wares of other nearby service workers. That type of worker-level exchange can add some excellent benefits to barista work while connecting staffs within a local community, especially when nearby businesses can provide discounted healthcare items like quality shoes or massages. At Amethyst, Elle engages in some unoffi cial discount exchanges and one offi cial one. "We give a discount to everyone who works in our building, and if we get a haircut or a massage from one of the other tenants, they generally give us a discount, but it's not a stated thing," she says. "The one offi cial trade we do is with a local acupuncturist. He gets free anything at Amethyst, and any of our staff can make an appointment with him for free at any time. It's worked out really well." She advises cafés that do discount exchanges to make sure that the terms are clear and that neither party feels taken advantage of. At Black Oak in Ukiah, employees trade coffee discounts for gym membership and chiropractor access. Steve advises café folks to think about how much they get out of the trade, and engage if it's worth it. If baristas are committed in their engage- ment with the world and their café, they may want to use the public space of the café to represent and promote organizations and projects they're passionate about. Cafés can be beautiful community hubs when baristas bring their passion to work, and Amethyst and Ritual have both benefi ted from active HELP PEOPLE, MAKE FRIENDS, HAVE FUN at DILLANOS.COM DILLANOS COFFEE SAFETY WARNING: CONSUMING MAY INCREASE HAPPINESS & CAUSE YOU TO LOVE YOUR JOB AGAIN 87 www.baristamagazine.com

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