Working in a coffee shop as a Floor/Shop manager

So far, we’ve covered multiple roles in a coffee shop environment, including Front of House staff, Barista and Head Baristas. In this article, we’ll look at the role of Coffee Shop Manager. 
Also known as the ‘floor manager’, the shop manager’s role is to oversee the day to day operations of a coffee shop. Unlike other management positions, this is a very hands-on role, as you’ll be directly involved in the parts of the business that you’ll be in charge of. What’s required of you will vary depending on the venue you’re working in, but the core principles will remain the same. We can’t tell you what it is like everywhere but we can give you an insight into some of the things to expect.

The Role

The core responsibilities of the Shop Manager is to ensure the smooth day to day operations of the venue. You’ll be deeply involved in daily tasks, managing both customers and staff alike. Your responsibilities won’t be limited to the shop floor, unless specified otherwise, you will be responsible for back of house duties as well. Your main responsibilities will be: 
  • Ensuring smooth running of the day-to-day operations of the cafe or venue.
  • Hiring and training of new wait staff and baristas. This will likely include interviews.
  • Training employees on making beverages and how to use and clean coffee equipment and machines.
  •  Vendor management and regular stock ordering. Examples include: takeaway cups, coffee beans, various milks and other essentials. 
  • Ensuring records of daily, weekly and monthly revenues and expenses are up to date and paid (this may or may not be your responsibility, depending on the venue). 
  • Updating the menu and beverage selection based on your customers needs. This could be seasonal items or dietary items, such as vegan or gluten free options. 
  • Ensure staff are meeting customer service standards and are trained to handle conflict or customer complaints. 
  • Maintain cleaning and hygiene standards in all areas of the cafe or venue
  • Foster friendly relationships with customers to encourage regular business and customer satisfaction. 
  • Creating rotas and assigning shifts to your staff. 
  • Maintaining a strong working relationship with your colleagues and fellow managers. 
Your goal is to ensure your venue is working as efficiently as possible to provide the best possible experience for your customers, while maintaining the growth of the business. This sounds like a lot, but one thing to remember is that you’re never alone as a manager. Your team is there to help you achieve this goal! 

What to expect

We’ve mentioned this already, but this is a hands on role. If you find yourself hiding away in the backroom, you aren’t doing your job properly. Although some of your tasks will be handled here, like rosters and stock ordering, you will need to be present in the venue. 
You can expect questions, and a lot of them. This may be from new staff members, your long serving team members or even customers. As a manager people will come to you for answers, so you need to be as prepared as possible to answer them. It always pays to be patient with this.
Another key aspect of your role is relationship management. You will be responsible for ordering from suppliers and vendors. It’s important that you keep them onside, as you will be their first point of contact in the business. Without their product, you have nothing to sell. Without you, they’ll just have bags of beans in storage. Keeping these relationships healthy is crucial to the day to day running of your venue. 
You will also be in charge of the hiring, training and disciplining your team. Be sure to select new team members carefully and do what you can to keep your team happy and productive. People work harder for managers they like so try to make your relationships with your team as mutually beneficial as possible. Work hard for them and they will do the same for you. 
Disciplinary conversations are tough. Approach them factually and with care, and handle them with as much tact as possible. They are, unfortunately, a necessary evil you hopefully don’t have to experience. 

Skills and Qualifications

Unlike other roles in hospitality, experience is a must for this role. Management is a step up no matter the industry, and time in the saddle goes a long way in a fast paced environment. Outside of this, these are the necessary skills needed for this role: 
  • Previous experience as a Cafe Manager, Assistant Manager or Barista. It is worth noting that time spent at a venue is also valuable. Afterall, you will certainly get to know how things work after working in a venue for a long time. 
  • Hands-on experience and working knowledge of the use and maintenance of professional coffee machines.
  • Strong maths and numeracy skills. 
  • Willing to work flexible hours (including weekends and holidays).
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to motivate and discipline a team. 
  • Strong customer service skills. 
  • Time management and Problem solving skills. 
  • Confidence with computers, including programs like excel. 
  • Secondary school education. 
  • Any additional certificates, including Business Administration or Hospitality, is a bonus. 

Summary

Management is as exciting as it is challenging, especially in the fast paced environment of hospitality. As a shop manager, you’ll be responsible for making a business run as efficiently as possible. You’ll have invaluable skills and face challenges that will force you to grow. Plus, leading a team to achieve a goal is incredibly rewarding, and the role as a shop manager may be your chance to do just that! 

Be sure to check out some of the other posts on our page if you’re interested in finding out more about working in the hospitality industry. 

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