When is a good time to start hiring and training baristas?


New member
Jun 7, 2007
Costa Rica
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I'm in the process of writting up my biz plan and I'm including a schedule of landmarks, such as when to talk with an architect, name registery, securing permit etc...

I was hoping to get some guidance on the subject of when during the continuium of events that constitute the openning of a new coffeeshop (with no previous location) when would be a good time to hire and train my baristas.

I realize I have to wait until they actually have equipment to train on, but I'm trying to strike a balance between hiring them to soon and thus spending money on wages without an open shop, and having a completely finshed location with no one hired.

Suggestions? Thanks.



Nov 3, 2004
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Depending on the availability of labor in your local market, I generally recommend that you have your candidates lined up for training about 2-3 weeks prior to a scheduled soft opening. That way, as soon as your coffee equipment and POS are installed, you can begin training - probably for a week or two prior to opening.

If unemployment is low in your area, you may want to lock in some good candidates earlier.

Open the doors for business without announcement on your targeted soft-opening date and schedule a grand opening for a week or few weeks later; perhaps on a significant calendar date in your area.

Hope that helps,



New member
Dec 8, 2006
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barista training

Andrew is right on time. :grin:
2-3 weeks gives your trainers time to teach the skills and gives your staff time to practice, hone their skills - and gain the confidence to serve drinks to paying customers.
Although the basic skills can be instructed in less than a week...you only have the one chance at opening to make a great first impression for your new business.
You should try to arrange for off-site training - IF you cannot have enough time on-site with your equipment and product prior to opening.


New member
Oct 18, 2004
Portland, OR
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Good points. Keep in mind to budget for pre-opening labor expenses. I wrote an article on Hiring, Training & Retaining Employees and give a similar seminar at all the Coffee Fest shows ... here is the article:


Off site training is great if you have the means, also training in house prior to opening, and during off hours shows employees that you are investing in their skills and truly want them to have the support they need to do a great job.

You may want to also look for an outstanding GM that you bring on a month or more before you open. By involving them in your start-up and day to day opps. they will have the confidence to make good decisions in your absence and will have a deeper investment in the business. The hard part is finding that perfect person :)

- Matt