Baristas are an essential part of the success or failure of any café and coffee shops. Their wages likely make up a large part of the overall business costs. But how do you determine what is a fair rate for a barista?
Whether you are a business owner or a barista, there are factors to consider when deciding if the rate is low or high. Before we jump on the topic of barista salary in Australia, let’s discuss all things barista that you need to know.
Essential Information about Being a Barista in Australia
A barista is a professional that serve customers at coffee shops, bars, or houses.
One great quality of a professional barista is their superior customer service skills. They take orders and deliver coffee and other beverages to customers in a timely and friendly manner. They communicate effectively with coworkers’ and customers alike to prepare quality beverages and ensure customer satisfaction.
A highly qualified barista should also have extensive working knowledge in making other espresso-based drinks. They prepare and serve on the side foods to customers, such as sandwiches, bagels, and donuts.
A barista’s role does not only revolve around the coffee-making part of the business. They handle and process payments at the register and participate in weekly or monthly inventory. Their role also involves maintaining a clean and sanitary workspace and keeping equipment in good condition.
While experience is not necessary, some states require workers in this field should at least have formal barista training.
The term ‘barista’ derives from the Italian word for male or female bartender. Baristas generally work in small and large coffee shops, as well as single-location cafes. You can also find them at coffee bars in bookstores, hotels, restaurants, or clubs.
Aside from good customer service skills, a barista should also have the ability to multitask. Most of the time, they need to make several drinks while attending to customers’ needs at the same time. A professional barista knows how to listen carefully to customer orders and prepare drinks correctly.
A barista is a title that has been confined to the four walls of a coffee shop. However, there are other avenues where baristas can explore within the industry. Baristas can be involved in roasting, training, managing, and operating coffee business, competitions, become judges, or even Q graders.
Training and Education
One way to prove that you qualify as a barista despite having no experience is to take barista courses from a registered training organisation (RTO).
Employers who hire new baristas typically provide on-the-job training in specific processes. Depending on the coffee shop and its management, baristas might receive extensive training. These may include roasting beans and brewing coffee or just the basics of using in-house equipment.
Baristas who want to move to higher roles or plan to start their coffee own café should seek specialised business or coffee education programs.
The value and meaning of the ‘barista’ title have significantly changed throughout the years. A barista is not just any person who serves and prepares coffee. Only connoisseurs of coffee-making truly wear the barista title.
It is slightly more complicated than tossing on the automatic coffee maker. A barista stands at the forefront where they make the first impression on the customers. Therefore, a barista has the power to help customers with their purchasing decisions.
Baristas must know recipes for specialty coffee drinks, as well as how to use equipment such as automated espresso machines. There are instances where they need to choose the coffee beans or educate customers on coffee choices. In some shops, baristas serve bakery items and prepare sandwiches or salads.
A barista is there to ensure that the consumer consistently receives the best possible service. This responsibility demands experience, but more importantly, passion and dedication. A barista’s craft is their trophy.
To those who are not seeing the barista profession as real work, you are wrong. It is possible to earn decent money as a full-time barista in Australia. Many local specialty coffee shops pay decent hourly wages. Bartenders can earn great tips during busy hours, weekend, and holidays.
Café businesses look at the overall business costs and projected profits when deciding on the barista salary. A successful coffee business is the one that can afford to pay its workers a living wage (or higher) and still turn a profit.
Here are the eight highest paying cities for Baristas, according to data from Indeed.com
- Melbourne VIC– $26.78 AUD per hour
- Brisbane QLD – $26.42 AUD per hour
- Canberra ACT – $26.23 AUD per hour
- Sydney NSW – 16 AUD per hour
- Perth WA – $25.71 AUD per hour
- Double Bay NSW –$25.67 AUD per hour
- Gold Coast QLD – $25.63 AUD per hour
- Parramatta NSW – $25.10 AUD per hour
The basic average salary of a full-time Barista in Australia is $51,350 per year or about $26.33 per hour. This is an estimate of at least 8 hours a day/40 hours a week worth of work. Entry-level positions for baristas start at $38,318 per year, while experienced baristas make up to $59,550 per year.
Sprudge made a poll in 2013 regarding barista wages worldwide. The poll result shows that Australia has the highest-paid baristas in the world. Another survey was later conducted that focuses on the average pay of coffee workers across the country. The survey result shows that Aussie baristas were being paid about $7/hour more than the US counterpart. Competition-level baristas who serve award-winning can price their coffees as high as $150 AUD per cup.
Barista salaries are slightly above the minimum wage. They also receive tips from happy customers, so being friendly and doing the job right is essential.
Each barista will have their salary expectations, but at least you will have an idea of the average salary of a full-time barista in Australia.
If you want to become a barista, all you need is to have basic education and the right skills. While you generally learn your skills on the actual job, barista courses are available to help improve your coffee skills and knowledge. Barista Pro training can maximise your potential for career advancement.