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What Kind of Job Positions Are in Coffee Shops?

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In 18th century England, the humble coffeehouses were nicknamed “penny universities” -- a penny being the cost of a cup. The coffeehouse was where intellectuals and business people met. Many a deal was reached over coffee. In fact, the famous Lloyds of London insurance firm began in a coffeehouse. Large or small, a good coffeehouse requires specialized staff.


Managers run the day-to-day operations of the coffee shop. This includes developing and training the staff, ensuring high-quality customer service; procuring and distributing beverages and food; and financial responsibilities. Managers answer to the owner or franchisee or, in chain stores, the district manager and regional manager.


Barista is the Italian word for bartender, and in coffee shops with a liquor license, the barista handles that side. Barista is the glamour job in the coffee shop. Baristas are specialists in making sure that each cup of coffee is tailor-made. They attend courses to learn industry standards and may even compete in the annual World Barista Championship competition.

Headquarters and Back Room

Many coffee shops have an accountant to manage payroll and pay the bills. Marketing and administration teams sell the product to the public and manage the staff. Quality control professionals ensure that the best products are served at all times. Larger coffee shops may employ people to conduct corporate and in-house training.

Other Positions

Larger coffeehouses may have a cashier, who takes customers' payments and balances the books at the close of the business day. A greeter may open the door for customers and make them feel welcome, lead them to their seat and introduce them to their table attendant. Behind the scenes work dishwashers and stock persons; these could be students earning money for college tuition or a trainee on his first job.


Sebastian Lee has been writing professionally since 2005. His publications have appeared in various media outlets, including Reuters, Associated Press, the "Los Angeles Times" and "Chicago Tribune." Lee holds a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University.

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