Five Steps to
Summertime Staffing
Success for Your Cafe

Staff schedule changes. Seasonal employees. Changing customer habits. As the mercury rises, so do challenges for coffee shops. Find out how to keep employees engaged, customers happy, and your cafe running smoothly when changes heat up–all while keeping your cool.

Read on for five steps to summertime success.

Tip 1: Catch the wave

As people escape the heat, they often take refuge in iced coffees, rich frappuccinos, and refreshing smoothies. This surge in demand leads to increased foot traffic, larger orders, and longer lines, which are taxing to your staff–and your customers’ patience.

Prepare for the summer surge by forecasting demand and staffing accordingly. Analyze historical data from previous summers to identify patterns and trends. Get ready for events that may lead to an uptick in business, such as community festivals, holidays, and heat waves. Use scheduling software or spreadsheets to create staffing forecasts aligned with predicted demand.

You’ll shore up valuable human resources then ride the wave to higher revenue–and greater customer delight.


Tip 2: Talk shop.

If real estate is about location, location, location, running a successful coffee shop is about communication, communication, communication.

A great latte doesn’t amount to a hill of (coffee) beans if you don’t have the staff to make or serve it. Know who will be taking time off and when and ensure there’s coverage. Find out who may need to make schedule changes based on personal needs, such as summertime childcare. If you employ students, determine whose availability may change with seasonal classes or internships. Talk to your team early and often to make sure you have coverage to address your staff’s needs, as well as your customers’. Keeping the lines of communication open will ensure that the theme of your metaphorical essay What I Did This Summer isn’t "Scramble to Find People to Cover Shifts."

Tip 3: Increase your flexibility.

Make sure to stretch out–your flexibility.

Flexibility in staffing arrangements is essential during the summer months. Implement a flexible scheduling system that accommodates fluctuating demand and employee availability. Hire part-time or seasonally, and offer employees extra hours to fill in the gaps and help them make extra cash. Cross-train employees to handle various roles within the coffee shop for seamless transitions during busy periods. Think outside the box of your coffee shop and incorporate patio and outdoor seating, as feasible for your locale, then ensure that you have the staff to serve those extra areas.


Tip 4: Cultivate growth.

Summer is a great time to grow employee skills and relationships. Empower your team to make independent decisions and resolve customer issues efficiently. Provide guidelines and train employees to handle common situations autonomously, reducing the need for managerial intervention during peak hours. Recognize and reward exceptional performance to motivate your staff during the summer season. Implement incentive programs such as bonuses, employee of the month awards, or performance-based incentives tied to sales targets or customer satisfaction metrics.

Then watch your staff–and business–blossom.

Tip 5: Work smarter, not hotter.

More customers and more staff can turn up the heat on managerial and operational demands. Leverage technology to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. Invest in point-of-sale (POS) systems with features like order-ahead capabilities and mobile payment options to expedite transactions and reduce wait times. Explore automation tools for inventory management, scheduling, and reporting to simplify administrative tasks and free up time for staff to focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Make sure your cafe is stocked with everything you need to keep customers sipping all summer with Barista Underground. You’ll get wholesale prices on the best brands–and get your order delivered FAST with no minimums and no hassles.

How cool is that?