Tendo’s new Coffee Skills Glossary can help improve job prospects for specialty-coffee workers.
BY EMILY MENESES
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT
From AeroPress to pourovers, from latte art to cupping, there’s an infinite array of skills to be learned in the world of specialty coffee. With Tendo’s recently launched Coffee Skills Glossary, both baristas and café managers can now easily track and converse about which skills an individual has, and which skills they’re working on or hoping to develop.
“The [skills glossary] was really created for the worker,” shares Will Ross, founder of Tendo and former coffee shop manager. “It allows an individual to own a proof of work as they move between jobs, essentially [acting in place of] the CV or resumé.“
The glossary is meant to come in handy both at the time of a barista’s interview and when raising conversations about promotions or raises. By allowing workers to list out their skills in a concrete, tangible way, the glossary will serve as an extra point of reference when baristas apply for a new job or negotiate a promotion at a company they’re already with.
“Training and development will always require coaches, curriculum, and work-based reinforcement,” Will continues. “Concrete terms and definitions empower employees to have constructive, open conversations with their managers about internal mobility.”
Will says the glossary will also benefit shop owners and supervisors during the hiring process. ”[The coffee skills glossary also provides] an upside for café managers,” he says. “For example, a café can list the, say, 20 skills necessary to work in their shop—and identify whether a worker has those skills or some of them.”
The Coffee Skills Glossary includes 75+ coffee skills, including dosing, tamping, milk texturing, and more. Additionally, there are 20 transferable skills that any coffee employee can access on their phone. Each skill also includes a clear and concise definition, provided in-house by Tendo specialists and independent collaborators from the coffee industry.
“Fundamentally, we’re about making workers visible in the labor market, and empowering individuals with their data,” Ross elaborates. “You can now incentivize workers around skills that they may not have necessarily seen as worth pursuing … and show workers that if they grow [their skillset], there’s an opportunity for recognition as well as financial [benefits].”
Tendo plans to eventually create glossaries for all frontline workers, including bartenders, chefs, and anyone working in the hospitality industry. Through the Coffee Skills Glossary, the platform hopes to help specialty-coffee shops attract and retain skilled workers, as well as show baristas their potential to grow in their careers. The Coffee Skills Glossary is now accessible on the Tendo website, with further information about the company available on the Press page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Los Angeles, Emily Joy Meneses (she/her) is a writer and musician passionate about culture and collective care. You can regularly find her at Echo Park Lake, drinking a cortado and journaling about astrology, art, Animal Crossing, and her dreams. Explore her poetry, short stories, and soundscapes on her website.