Staff Heroes Blog - Month: October 2017

7 Steps To Becoming A Brilliant Barista

Waking up and smelling the coffee is a daily routine for baristas all over the world. But what skills do you need to provide the nation’s coffee drinkers with their favourite cup, whether it’s a flat white, cappuccino, or skinny decaf soya mocha with no chocolate sprinkes (please no)? We’ve got it from the experts that these are the 7 most important ingredients to being a great barista.

  1. Be cheerful and friendly – As a barista, you are often the face of the café, restaurant, or bar. So be bubbly, polite, and a face your customers, desperate for their caffeine fix, are happy to see at 7am.
  2. It’s all in the espresso – The foundation of any great coffee is the espresso. First you will have to dial-in. This means getting your grind right – not too fine, not too coarse – perfecting your recipe (amount of coffee/duration of pour), then tasting your brew. Just right?
  3. Milk foaming – One of the most in-demand skills in the industry is foaming. If you can get your milk right, you’ll be able to pick up barista jobs all over the world. Remember, introduce air at the start, then texturize to leave yourself with lovely, bouncy milk.
  4. Clean equipment and area – Keeping a clean, hygienic area is paramount to having a great coffee bar. If you have a dirty area with stale coffee getting in your equipment, it’s going to affect the taste of your cup; it also leaves a poor impression of the general cleanliness of the establishment. Big no no!
  5. Latte art – The poster boy of the coffee industry: latte art. Latte art takes time to perfect, but it all stems from your milk foaming skills. If you haven’t perfected your milk foaming, you can wave latte art goodbye. Once you have your milk down, watch your colleagues and videos on Youtube to perfect your technique, then practice, practice, practice.
  6. Great communication Skills – Running a coffee bar can be a stressful endeavour. Communication is key to keeping everything running smoothly. You need to be able to tell staff what table coffee is going to, if you need extra supplies, which cup is decaf or soya milk, you get the gist. You need to communicate all this information effectively 100% of the time.
  7. Be a fountain of knowledge – Customers want to know the story of their coffee. As a barista you need to be able to answer all their questions. So, you’ll have to know where the coffee beans are from, whether they’re single or mixed origin, what the tasting notes are, and how much your coffee retails at. You can, obviously, never know too much, but these are a good start.

Hero of the Month

We want to give a massive congratulations to our superstar Hero of the Month.  Canada native Troy has been on our platform for over a year, and his hard-work is being rewarded with a Hero of the Month award and a £25 gift voucher from Amazon. Well done Troy and keep up the good work!

Our Hero of the Month feature profiles a hero on our platform that has worked especially hard or who has maintained an exceedingly high level of performance in their roles.

Name: Troy

Hometown: Mississauga, Canada

Joined Staff Heroes: 29/09/2016

Length of time in London: 2 years

First job: “Hmmm… that was a while ago now. I think my first job was working with a company called Talkington Bates. If I remember rightly it was as a member of a team of catering staff, but the one place that I would say is my favourite is Wembley Stadium. I just finished a shift there today.”

Favourite thing about Staff Heroes: “I think the favourite thing about the platform, I would say is the professionalism. When speaking with you guys on the phone, I think you’re always all very professional.”

Dream job: “Ha, that’s a tough one. As I continue in my career I want to keep getting experience at different venues and places through Staff Heroes. My dream job would probably be to one day have my own restaurant. Yea, so my dream job is to open and run my own place.”

And finally… favourite film: That’s another tricky one. You really put me on the spot! Umm… Terminator 2

Thanks for the chat Troy. Keep doing what you’re doing,

Staff Heroes Team.

4 Great Reasons to Work in Hospitality in London This Autumn

Halloween temp staff agency

Working in hospitality can be fast-paced, relentless, and endlessly rewarding. We take a look at 4 best things the industry has to offer its London-based workforce this Autumn season

  1. London in Autumn

    We’ve officially broken up with summer after dragging out the last dark days of our fling. But don’t fret, Autumn has arrived in style, and with it there is bountiful opportunity to enjoy this great city. Of course, working in hospitality in London can be taxing, but London can be incredibly giving throughout October.

    In particular, the green – browny yellow – spaces around the city are glorious this time of year. So, whether it’s Hyde Park, Hampstead Heath or Hackney Marshes, dig out your puffa and scarf, take a tour, and embrace mother nature at her finest.

    Last week there were four, yes four, London bars featuring in the World’s 50 Best Bars. And with the London Restaurant Festival running through the entirety of October, there is no shortage of places to eat or drink this month.

    So, you see, the drop in temperature shouldn’t be met with scorn. There are plenty of reasons to be happy about cooler days and evenings: allergy season is over, fewer tourists, more mulled cider, and the scorching heat on the Central Line – thing of the past (and distant future). Anyway, you get the drift. Autumn = good.

  2. The people

    Somehow, Londoners seem to have gained a reputation for being rude. In my opinion, this is an unfair charge, especially when dealing with people that work in hospitality. It is literally our job to be nice to people, which makes meeting new people and building social networks a daily joy.

    With people working in Restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafés a fairly outgoing bunch, hospitality work lends itself very well to an active social life. Sure, the demands of your employer can be high but the rewards are great. While “work hard, play hard” might be cliché, it’s very apt for many working in the hospitality sector.

    If your housemates are too tired for Friday night drinks, you can bet your bottom dollar you can find a few colleagues to enjoy a post-work spritzer with. As many people have friendships from previous jobs, expect the opportunity to meet all sorts of new people through your work colleagues, the weird and the wonderful. Hospitality work attracts great personalities.

  3. Being a Londoner

    Identifying as a Londoner happens over time for some and immediately for others. Once you’re there, though, it’s fantastic.

    Knowing to avoid Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are paramount to being a Londoner. As is nudging people that don’t stand far enough to the right on escalators, and if you’re ever able to correct another so-called “Londoner” on the best underground line to take to their location, you’ll never forget that level of elation.

    Best of all, it means you know all the best places to go this Autumn season. Industry knowledge that Breddos Taqueria is opening a new location in Soho this month, Trafalgar Street St. James hotel has reopened its doors, and London officially boasts four of the world’s top ten bars (am I repeating myself?) is key to staying ahead of the curve in your social circles. Oh the joys.

  4. Fantastic work locations

    London’s hospitality scene boasts some of the most iconic venues in the world. Imagine walking through Mayfair on a blustery autumnal day as you head to work at the Dorchester, or cycling around St. James’s Park before your shift at The Ritz – these are treasures that you’ll never bore of. For much of London’s hospitality staff that’s a perk of the job.

    Equally, the thought of navigating the Alleyways of Spitalfields or the backstreets of Brixton on a night after working at the latest pop-up bar, restaurant, or boutique hotel reassures you that what you’re doing is awesome.

    With the emergence of the gig-economy, companies such as Staff Heroes enable you to work at different locations at your convenience. So, for example, you could be busing tables at The Dorchester on Wednesday night, drawing a rosetta on Joe Smith’s flat white on Thursday morning, and shaking cocktails at one of London’s four bar’s that made the world top 10 list (have I mentioned that already?) on Friday night. Don’t believe me? Take a look current available jobs here