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Who is Who in the Cafe World

Last Updated 18 August 2016 - Written by Luca Melidoro and Laurie Holmes

In a small cafe things are easy to grasp. There is the owner with maybe one or two staff members. But larger cafes can look like a confusing whirl of activity. At peak times we often have over 10 people working behind the counter at Bake Bar and Sonoma. It can be bewildering to understand who is who, who does what and where you might fit in. So here is a rough overview of the Who is Who in the world of cafes.

Cafe Owner - Calling the shots - Working on site or at head office

Cafe Manager - Running the cafe


Head Barista - Managing the coffee flow

Supervisor Barista - Second in charge of coffee flow

Barista - Making coffees

Assistant Barista - Starting out and learning

Baristas play a central role in cafes and so are usually placed quite high in a cafe's hierarchy. In a restaurant this is different with chefs and cooks assuming that position.


Cook - Managing food preparation

Kitchen hand - Preparing food

Cashier - Handling money

Runner - Serving coffee and food

Dishwasher - Washing dishes and cups


This is a rough overview based on our experiences at Gloria Jeans, Michel's Patisserie, Sonoma and Bake Bar. Of course every cafe is different. Some cafes might have two or three staff members covering one task. In other cafes several roles might be combined in one staff member. The role you start in doesn't matter that much. What matters is the cafe's mind set and openness to train you. An opportunity to learn is more important than your job title.



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