Try an experiment: have your barista save all of their leftover milk during a shift (with the goal of reducing milk waste). You’ll probably be shocked at how much it is–then think about how much that milk cost you!
Coffee shops waste a lot of milk. No one should re-steam old milk, which tastes burnt, doesn’t foam right, and is just plain disgusting. Therefore, you need to use fresh milk. The key is to manage its usage through proper training of each barista. A good one should be able to steam a perfect latte with zero waste.
Sometimes milk wastage stems from overstretching the milk, sometimes it is as simple as overfilling or using a steaming pitcher that is too large.
Says Alex Jeans, Stockton Graham & Co.’s resident barista trainer, “Always be sure to use the right pitcher for the job. Knowing which pitcher corresponds to which size drinks is always extremely helpful.”
To prevent that problem, don’t let baristas use the same pitcher for a 6 oz. cappuccino that they would for a 20 oz. latte. Pouring milk and making beautiful and elaborate designs on top of coffee drinks is always an appreciated skill, but a barista should also focus on consistently stretching the right amount of milk to the exact amount needed. It makes them much more efficient as they work and no time is spent trying to figure out what to do with leftover milk.
From a training perspective, if you or your baristas are not starting and ending with the right amount of milk, it’s just not being done correctly. Training for it from the very beginning is the best. If baristas need help hitting the mark with milk, have them join you for an extra training session. Milk waste and the associated costs can definitely be greatly reduced with just a little practice!