Barista  What They Do

Just the Facts


Prepares or serves specialty coffee or other beverages. Serve food such as baked goods or sandwiches to patrons.

This career is part of the Hospitality and Tourism cluster Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Receives and processes customer payments.
  • Prepares or serves hot or cold beverages, such as coffee, espresso drinks, blended coffees, or teas.
  • Takes customer orders and conveys them to other employees for preparation.
  • Cleans or sanitizes work areas, utensils, or equipment.
  • Describes menu items to customers or suggest products that might appeal to them.
  • Cleans service or seating areas.
  • Serves prepared foods, such as muffins, biscotti, or bagels.
  • Prepares or serves menu items, such as sandwiches or salads.
  • Sets up or restocks product displays.
  • Stocks customer service stations with paper products or beverage preparation items.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Coffee Sommelier -- Highly skilled in coffee preparation with a comprehensive understanding of coffee, coffee blends, espresso, quality, coffee varieties, roast degree, espresso equipment and maintenance.