A Caffeinated Idea

The other day, I was thinking about certified baristas who don’t make coffee anymore due to a change in careers. Why not give them a place to practice and make some money on the side as well? Introducing: The Freelance Barista Cafe.

While I haven’t fleshed this idea out enough to be pitchable on Dragon’s Den (good show btw if you don’t watch it already) and have no experience running a cafe, hear me out.

This is a cafe with a twist. In addition to regular baristas manning the machines and making coffee, we will have open slots every day for freelance baristas who want to work on that day. The whole concept is similar to an open mic night – but instead of playing music, they get to make drinks instead. Baristas will be paid a fixed fee or a percentage of each cup they make (or maybe a combination of both).

Why would we want freelance baristas instead of just keeping permanent ones? Well, the idea is that we have a cafe for some baristas who may be in the country on holiday, and they feel like spending a day or two to show off their skills. We could have regular folks who have been practicing making coffee at home and feel like serving the public without committing to a full-time gig. Heck, we can have baristas who are just looking for a change of environment from their regular full-time jobs. Other kinds of baristas could be retired folks looking for a fix to their itch, and poorer folks who don’t have machines to practice with at home.

Pretty sure this isn’t a thing at the moment (or I didn’t Google enough) but it needs to be in a location where there are enough Baristas to keep it going. It also gives customers who frequent the cafe new drinks to order if they’re in the mood for something other the usual.

While we won’t be able to control the standard of the guest baristas, the permanent barista we have will always be there to serve our customers standard drinks when they’re not feeling adventurous.

One thing we’ll need to keep an eye out for are folks with malicious intentions – gotta make sure our baristas don’t try to poison customers or make awful drinks on purpose.

And that’s about as much thought I’ve given to the idea. Anyone reading this blog with deep pockets, feel free to turn this idea into a reality. Maybe give me free drinks when I visit?

4 thoughts on “A Caffeinated Idea”

  1. It’s an idea that kinda exists, but not formally, I guess? A specific cafe wouldn’t necessarily advertise itself as such.
    Most of the time, traveling baristas contact a roastery/cafe, seeking a guest spot. Kinda like tattoo artists. But not all cafes can do this.
    It’d be hard to create a fair rostering system for the permanent staff; will you be able to fill a week’s worth of shifts to your guest/freelance barista? And as you said, maintaining standards of drinks/service would be another issue. Not to mention health and safety rules, most people in hospitality and F&B need specified training from their employers.
    That’s just from my limited experiences with these things.

  2. (Did my first comment go through? My connection timed out when I submitted it…)

    The concept does exist, but not formally.
    Like tattoo artists, baristas can contact roasters or cafes asking for guest slots.
    There would be complications to do this regularly, especially with fair rostering of hours between permanent staff, health and safety regulations, etc. And as you mentioned, retaining standards would be another issue.

    • No worries! Askimet spam filter is a bit strict some times, especially with people who haven’t commented on my blog before haha. While I wasn’t being exactly serious with the idea, I appreciate the insight you provided! If people want drinks from guest baristas we’ll probably have to make them sign waivers or something 😂


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