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7 Great Tips to Speed Up Your Coffee Service

‘How do I speed up coffee service?’ is a question I get a lot while visiting my local coffee customers and I will run through seven great tips that I have seen make a huge difference to the speed of your coffee service.


1) Layout of coffee preparation area

How you place your coffee machine in relation to the grinder, service area, access to sink with running water, and dump box is a major consideration in terms of allowing fast work flow. If there are less steps required to move around the machine to do all the various functions then speed will increase.

2) Complete initial set-up of the coffee preparation area.

This is critical in terms of making sure the coffee station is fully stocked with cups, saucers, tea spoons, sugars, toppings, etc. Even having the appropriate cleaning cloths on hand is important; everything needs to be in place before you start serving so there are minimal stoppages during the busy service time. Restocking in the quieter times is also recommended – if you have them!

3) Staff Training

This is very important to make sure that all your baristas are following the same steps to preparing the coffees. This keeps things to a system which is easy to follow, and allows the build up of speed once staff are comfortable with the process.

4) Standardisation of cups sizes

This allows for the staff to not only prepare consistent hot beverages but allows the correct milk jug size selection which can help with an increase in speed as larger milk jugs can be used to prepare multiple milk based drinks in one steam.

5) Double teaming the machine!

When you get those really busy periods during the day it can be a wise idea to get 2 staff members working the one machine, as long as you have the staff members to do this.

This is perhaps one of the most efficient ways to really speed up the serving time of your coffee beverages. It works best if one staff member takes care of the coffee shots while the other just puts the milk through. Communication and good team work is critical here, but watching 2 staff members in sync with each other can be a joy to watch and really pumps through the coffee.

6) Increasing capacity of equipment.

Basically this means getting a coffee machine with an extra group head to work from. E.g. going from a 2 group coffee machine to a 3 group coffee machine.

There are a few things to be aware of when doing this, one the size of the machine to the space you have and while doing this will allow more coffee shots to be poured, the milk will still be a limiting factor with 2 milk wands being the max on a single machine.

Another way of increasing capacity is utilizing more parts as opposed to a whole new machine. For instance purchasing another double porta filter (handle) gives the opportunity to load an extra handle at the ready while another shot is pouring.  Personally I believe you should start simply utilizing an extra staff member or extra parts before going down the larger machine route. I have had a café drop from a 3 group to a 2 group machine and still keep up with the busy demand times. They incorporate the 2 staff working on the machine method and keep the coffee flowing.

7) Offering alternative hot drink options to take pressure off the espresso machine.

This can be as simple as offering pour over filter coffee, or alternative concentrate syrup based drinks like Shott Lemon Ginger and Honey, or installing another type of coffee machine such as a vending machine for self service. I have seen this in high volume sites that have a lot of buses stopping in which creates a sudden influx of people all at once; the vending becomes an option for those that don’t want to wait for the espresso machine.

So there you have it, 7 ideas that can help you speed up coffee service in your establishment. I hope you find something useful within the article.

All the best

Wade Hutchinson

Coffee and Equipment

Servicing Central Otago, Queenstown, Wanaka, Timaru, Oamaru, South Canterbury, Te Anau, West Coast

Category: Blog


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