A Simple Money Saving Tip: Barista Training Equals Reduced Milk Waste

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.”

Barista Pouring MilkTo 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!


What brings your coffee customers back for more? Its not super low pricing…

On the social networking site Barista Exchange, a member posed the question, “What brings your [customer’s back for more]?” In other words, what motivates repeat business? I thought this was an excellent question, but I also enjoyed the response from Chris Defario, Training Director at The Coffee Institute and champion latte artist.

He conducted a street survey in Seattle and posed the question, “What keeps you coming back to your coffee shop of choice?” Roughly 50% of those surveyed answered quality, 25% said service, 20% said atmosphere and 5% said price. Chris’ response to his results is something we can all take to heart, especially during these times:

My assertion was that quality, service, and atmosphere are the main things that influence loyalty.
In that order. Price rarely drives loyalty. People by and large prefer a quality experience when dealing with specialty coffee.

By focusing on offering outstanding service and quality, you can keep your best customers happy and expand your base. You aren’t going to gain a bunch of customers by having the “cheapest cup of coffee in town.” 

If you’d like to upgrade your service and quality levels dramatically, while implementing sustainable and adaptable employee training,  give Stockton Graham & Co. a call at 800.835.5943 to learn more about Stockton Graham University and Coffee College.

Mike Adams
Stockton Graham & Co.