'Hire for attitude, train for skills' - The Rookie Program

As the speciality coffee scene of Berlin has evolved drastically over the course of the past few years, we still find ourselves employing mainly non-german staff.

That is, for one, because Germany’s speciality coffee scene is still relatively young. Therefore there’s only very few German speaking baristas who are equipped and knowledgeable enough to be recognised in the industry.

A large number of Berlin’s speciality coffee shops are being opened by foreign coffee professionals, who went through an intensive training in their country of origin, who seem to seek German speaking staff but the selection of German speaking barista professionals is limited due to the ‘2-3 years experience minimum’ that is usually advertised. This in turn makes it hard to get the foot in the door and and get beyond the ‘Latte Macchiato’ coffee world. There is a demand for german speaking coffee professionals, but there hasn’t been a solid platform or entry program that has enabled the transition from ‘average coffee’ to delicious, so to speak, speciality coffee.

Even though the German chapter of the SCA(former SCAE) offers educational programs, (Coffee Diploma) it might not be the most sustainable and reliable way of getting German hospitality workers involved. The costs of one class go up to 225€ and are in most cases paid by the participant. Feeling hesitation to invest that amount of money in a certificate, that doesn’t necessarily lead to employment, seems understandable.

But the interdependencies between Berlin’s cafes seeking German staff and German staff not getting a foot in the door, because of their lack of training, seem perfectly unreasonable.

It’s in a cafe’s best interest to have workers that can one, produce consistently toothsome goods, and two, can communicate with the guests.

The advantages of getting untrained, but passionate and dedicated staff into your business are substantial. Not only because you can train unformed, young people specifically the way your business requirements need them to be. The influence on and the marginal gain for your business throughout diverse non-hospitality backgrounds, have a significant impact on your business’s development.
Acknowledging these flattering upsides of creating a team on your terms, led us to starting ‘The Rookie Program’. We want to give enthusiastic people the chance to work in a speciality cafe (part-time/full-time), starting with floor training, and then step by step gathering a solid understanding of the fundamentals that make a great hospitality worker.

We want to hire for attitude, train for skills and increase the quality of Berlin’s coffee scene and hospitality.