If your idea of a dream job involves people, service and good coffee, you might want to consider becoming a coffee shop manager. Just be ready to work and work hard. While the job may sound casual, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than just making lattes and serving muffins. There are employees to manage, schedules to write, inventory to be filled and the occasional angry customer to appease. But if developing skilled employees and helping your customers enjoy brighter days is your goal, you’ll find that the hard work is worth the effort.
One of the primary responsibilities of a coffee shop manager is being a boss. You’ll supervise a roster of employees and be the one who handles the hiring, firing, training, scheduling and salaries of your workforce. When employees call in sick, you’ll have to find a replacement. When they make mistakes, you’ll have to correct and teach them. When they deserve a raise, you’ll be the one to give it to them. As a store manager, you’ll discover that you spend more time with your own people than with your customers or products.
Serving Quality Products
A large part of your store’s reputation and success depends on the quality of your products. If you make tasty coffee and espresso beverages, you’ll earn a loyal following not shy about spreading the word. As the manager, it is your responsibility to make sure your coffee is fresh and properly prepared and that your food items are equally as good. If you manage your own store, you’ll have charge over your menu and be able to develop unique signature items that compliment the coffee shop standards. If you manage a corporate franchise, you won’t have freedom with the menu, but you will be able to make the items on it stand out for quality at your location.
Making a Profit
The key to keeping your doors open will ultimately depend on your bottom line. If you can’t sell enough of your products to make a profit, you won’t be able to stay in business. When it comes to managing the money, you’ll have to carefully stock your inventory so you don’t order too much or too little of each item and that you staff your store with the proper number of employees without over populating the barista bar. Depending on whether you manage your own store or operate a corporate franchise, you may or may not also be in charge of setting prices for your merchandise, which can make a big impact on your net profit.
Maintaining a Facility
Customers won’t make repeat visits to your store if you don’t run a clean, appealing facility. If bathrooms are a mess, the condiment bar is messy and understocked or the tables and chairs are dirty you’ll have a hard time keeping business coming in. As the store manager, you will be responsible for making sure your employees are keeping up with their cleaning tasks, not cutting corners and going the extra mile to ensure the cleanliness and aesthetics of the shop.
In the coffee shop industry, the customer is usually right. And when you or one of your employees makes a mistake, you’ll be the one who has to handle the situation with the customer. Whether they were overcharged, served the wrong item or simply dissatisfied with the service or product, certain customers will demand to see the manager. As they express their discontent, you will have to handle the situation with tact and integrity and discern what is the best way to resolve the situation according to your company’s values and standards.
2016 Salary Information for Food Service Managers
Food service managers earned a median annual salary of $50,820 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, food service managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $38,260, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $66,990, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 308,700 people were employed in the U.S. as food service managers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Food Service Managers
- The Princeton Review: Food Service Manager
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Managing Employees
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Food Service Managers
- Career Trend: Food Service Managers
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.