Starbucks baristas are the friendly faces that greet customers and prepare their coffee drinks. If you’ve ever wondered about a day in the life of a Starbucks barista, you’re not alone! Being a barista at Starbucks is a fast-paced job with a lot of responsibilities.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll outline everything a Starbucks barista does on a typical workday – from opening duties to closing tasks and all the customer service in between.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Starbucks baristas take orders, prepare drinks, serve food, operate the cash register, clean the store, and provide excellent customer service.

Opening Duties

Arriving and Clocking In

As part of their opening duties, a barista at Starbucks must arrive at the store on time and clock in to start their shift. Being punctual is important as it ensures a smooth transition between shifts and allows the barista to properly prepare for the day ahead.

This also helps in providing excellent customer service right from the start of the day.

Starting the Coffee Brewing

One of the first tasks a barista undertakes when opening the store is to start brewing coffee. Starbucks takes pride in serving a variety of high-quality and flavorful coffees, and it’s the barista’s responsibility to ensure that the brewing process is done correctly.

This includes measuring the appropriate amount of coffee grounds, filling the water reservoir, and setting up the coffee machines for the day.

Preparing Baked Goods

Another important aspect of opening duties for a barista is preparing the baked goods for the day. Starbucks offers a wide range of pastries and baked treats, and it is the barista’s responsibility to ensure that these items are fresh and ready for customers.

This may involve tasks such as arranging and heating pastries, restocking the display case, and ensuring that all baked goods are properly labeled.

Setting Up the Espresso Machines

Espresso is a staple at Starbucks, and it’s the barista’s responsibility to ensure that the espresso machines are properly set up and ready for use. This includes tasks such as grinding fresh coffee beans, calibrating the machines, and ensuring that all necessary supplies, such as milk and syrups, are replenished.

The barista must also clean and sanitize the espresso machines to maintain hygiene and quality standards.

These opening duties are essential for a barista at Starbucks to ensure a smooth start to the day and provide customers with the high-quality coffee and baked goods they expect from the popular coffee chain.

Service Duties

As a barista at Starbucks, one of the key aspects of the job is providing exceptional customer service. Baristas are responsible for ensuring that every customer has a positive experience in the store.

This involves a range of service duties, including greeting customers, taking orders accurately, making drinks and food items, operating the cash register, and cleaning between customers.

Greeting Customers

When customers walk into a Starbucks, the first person they encounter is often the barista behind the counter. Greeting customers with a friendly smile and warm welcome sets the tone for their entire visit. Baristas are trained to engage with customers, making them feel welcome and appreciated.

This not only creates a pleasant atmosphere but also helps to build customer loyalty.

Taking Orders Accurately

Baristas must have excellent listening skills to accurately take customers’ orders. They need to pay attention to specific details, such as the type of coffee or tea, the size, and any additional customization requests. Getting the order right is crucial to ensuring customer satisfaction.

Baristas are also trained to provide recommendations and answer any questions customers may have about the menu.

Making Drinks and Food Items

The heart of a barista’s role is crafting high-quality beverages and food items. From brewing the perfect cup of coffee to creating signature drinks, baristas are trained to ensure consistency and precision in every order.

They must be knowledgeable about the different coffee blends, brewing methods, and drink recipes. Additionally, baristas may also be responsible for preparing and serving food items, such as pastries and sandwiches.

Operating the Cash Register

Baristas are responsible for handling cash transactions and operating the cash register. They need to be proficient in handling money, processing payments accurately, and providing change. In addition to cash transactions, many Starbucks stores also accept payment through mobile apps and credit cards.

Baristas are trained to use these payment methods efficiently and securely.

Cleaning Between Customers

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is an essential part of a barista’s role. After serving each customer, baristas are responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the work area, including the espresso machine, countertops, and utensils.

This ensures a clean and safe environment for both customers and employees. Regular cleaning routines also help uphold Starbucks’ high standards of cleanliness and quality.

Closing Duties

As the day comes to an end, baristas at Starbucks have a set of important closing duties to ensure that the store is clean, organized, and ready for the next day. These tasks may vary from store to store, but there are some common responsibilities that baristas typically handle during closing shifts.

Cleaning the Espresso Machines

One of the essential closing duties for a barista is cleaning the espresso machines. This involves disassembling and thoroughly cleaning the various parts of the machine, including the portafilters, steam wands, and group heads.

By keeping the machines clean, baristas can ensure that the coffee tastes great and that the equipment is in good working order for the next day.

Restocking Items

Another important task during closing is restocking items. Baristas need to check inventory levels and replenish supplies such as coffee beans, milk, syrups, and cups. This ensures that everything is well-stocked for the next day’s operations.

Restocking also includes ensuring that the display cases are filled with fresh pastries and other food items.

Counting the Cash Drawers

Part of a barista’s closing duties involves counting the cash drawers. This process involves carefully tallying the money received throughout the day, reconciling any discrepancies, and preparing the cash for deposit.

Accuracy is crucial in this task to ensure that the store’s finances are properly managed.

Turning Off Equipment

Before closing the store, baristas must ensure that all equipment is properly turned off. This includes espresso machines, grinders, blenders, and any other appliances or machinery used during the day.

Turning off equipment not only helps conserve energy but also prevents any potential hazards or accidents.

Locking Up the Store

Finally, after completing all the necessary closing tasks, baristas are responsible for locking up the store. This involves securing the doors, setting the alarm system, and ensuring that all valuable items, such as cash and store supplies, are properly stored away.

By taking these precautions, baristas help maintain the security and safety of the store during non-operating hours.

These closing duties are just a few examples of the tasks that baristas at Starbucks handle at the end of their shifts. By diligently completing these responsibilities, they play a crucial role in maintaining the smooth operation of the store and providing an excellent experience for customers.


The responsibilities of a Starbucks barista are varied and fast-paced. They have to juggle customer service skills with drink preparation and other tasks. A typical day involves opening duties like starting brewed coffee, then transitioning to taking orders, making drinks, and handling transactions during the busier hours, and finally closing up shop with restocking and deep cleaning.

Baristas are key to the Starbucks experience, using their expertise to perfectly prepare drinks to customers’ specifications. So next time you visit Starbucks, take a moment to appreciate the hard work your barista puts in to make your coffee to order!

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