Possibly the biggest economic hit taken by COVID was the restaurants and food service establishments. Many businesses saw their incomes dwindle to zero quickly because of runaway rents, no foot traffic customers, slow government financial response and a lack of online preparedness. Unfortunately, many businesses won't be coming back. This will translate into a large number of people looking for employment opportunities. It's predictable that some restaurant workers will give up on food service altogether, while some will seek lateral movement within the food and beverage service industry.
Is it a Perfect Time to Open a Coffee shop? Should you Train to be a Barista?
Luckily, in the past the coffee industry has proven itself relatively recession-proof. Big question is, if it is pandemic proof ?
The recession proof claim comes from the various economic meltdowns we've experienced in the last few decades. Those who ate out at restaurants before the recession could not afford to anymore, choosing instead to cook at home to save money. Many consumers however continued to go to their local coffee shops because it was the affordable luxury that they could keep. A cheaper way to stay social and an economical way to meet up with friends and relatives outside of their homes.
Coffee Shops will Bounce Back although some Owners will have to close their Shops Forever
If you are looking for employment opportunities, there will be a predicted rise in demand for Baristas and coffee shop workers as many business owners from other industries will be attracted by the relatively lower capital costs of opening a coffee shop. Some of these positions will be filled by baristas from the marginal coffee shops that went under financially during the pandemic. But the competition for these jobs will be intense as waiters, bartenders, cooks, bakers and chefs who lost their jobs will be looking for new opportunities.
In order to separate yourself from the pack, you need to understand who coffee shop owners will hire from the pack!
Coffee is underrated and under-appreciated as a skill set. In the restaurant hierarchy, the making of coffee is usually relegated to bussers or the lowest server on the totem pole. In our post pandemic world, this will change as more people look for work.
Think of coffee as similar to baking or even flying an airplane. You wouldn't trust a pilot who didn't take any training, would you? Just because the pilot owns the fanciest and most expensive airplane doesn't make them a competent pilot.. The same analogy goes for the baker who owns a professional convection oven and mixer, the best cake flour money can buy, but still has no training in baking.
The coffee professional possesses a specialized skill set and if you don't have the skill you need to find someone to apprentice with and teach you the skill. Otherwise no employer would hire you as a barista if all you have is a bartender, server, or kitchen background.
Even if you are a chef, your skill set doesn't translate to a coffee shop because most coffee shops don't sell very much food in relation to coffee sales. A chef is overqualified in food service skills but under-qualified in coffee skills. This post-pandemic economy will demand flexibility from the workforce.
Full-time opportunities will probably be fleeting or hard to find in the post pandemic economy. People will have to accept several part-time jobs in order to get the working hours to pay all their bills. A baker, a chef, a bartender or server can add barista skills to their already full tool box, and separate themselves from the pack of people looking for new employment opportunities in coffee. With their experience in the restaurant industry, and a willingness to take on the much maligned coffee station with newly acquired barista skills, they may find their resumes moving to the top of the pile, perhaps even ahead of baristas full of experience but little else.
Join us next week when we cover “ what is a barista ?”