Barista & Café Associate

About Us
Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory and café in San Francisco’s Mission District. We make chocolate from only two ingredients, cocoa beans and cane sugar, and travel to origins as often as we can to build good, trusting relationships with the producers who grow and ferment cacao beans. Now we’re seeking a full-time barista (30+ hours/week) who will celebrate the care and thoughtfulness that goes into our chocolate through thoughtful service of our café drinks and pastries. In many cases, a guest’s question about which hot chocolate to order will lead to a deeper discussion about a chocolate origin and eventually to a lifelong passion for chocolate.

About the Role
We don’t know of any other barista role that combines coffee and chocolate quite like ours. As a Barista, you’ll first learn everything about chocolate from where it’s grown, how it’s processed, and how to make your own batch of chocolate. You’ll become an expert taster of all of our drinks, treats, and bars and know how the chocolate origin impacts the flavor. You’ll become an expert at perfecting different types of hot chocolates and mochas using chocolate in various forms. While we’re chocolate makers, we are also passionate and excited about coffee. We train with Ritual Coffee Roasters and are one of the few cafes to have the Ground Control Cyclops machine (winner of the SCAA product of the year). This full-time role starts at $15/hour, and we offer a leveling program that has a clear and defined path to move up quickly. Tips average $5-$7/hour depending on location and shift. The perks and benefits of this role continue even after the initial learning: you can apply to travel to origin to see cacao growing firsthand, spend a month apprenticing with our Tokyo and Kyoto teams, and take continuing education and management classes.

A typical café day might start with reading the daily café report and knowing to expect the dishwasher repair person in the morning, a chocolate expert from Hawaii around noon, and a chocolate tour for the afternoon. When the line is out the door, your focus turns to ensuring each person receives a thoughtful, exquisite experience. During welcomed breaks from the rushes, you might help water cacao trees, update chalk art, or adjust the espresso machine to ensure that shots are pouring consistently. 

About You
Our ideal candidate is a mature, team-oriented barista who is excited to learn and share their coffee passion. You develop authentic rapport with guests, can work independently as necessary, and you have the savvy know-how to navigate unexpected situations with confidence.  These can range from anything such as a guest asking for the blowtorch so they can toast their own marshmallow, a Japanese camera crew unexpectedly dropping in, or a request from a regular to hand their hot chocolate to them through their car window as they drive by, so they don’t have to park and risk waking their sleeping baby. You aren’t intimidated by a long line of excited people and you love making spaces more efficient in down time so you’re ready for the busy period. Ideally this isn’t your first time working in customer service, and you have the bandwidth and scheduling flexibility for an intensive 30-day chocolate onboarding. You are excited to grow in your role and take on more responsibility. 

Responsibilities
  • Coffee & Chocolate Excellence: Create hot chocolate drinks and espresso drinks with our manual machine and brew coffee using our Ground Control Cyclops machine with a consistent level of excellence. Know allergen information and be able to answer questions about our chocolate and coffee products with ease. Make recommendations for pairing chocolate with espresso drinks based upon your chocolate knowledge and experience.
  • Guest Service: Regardless of the day of the week or the crowds, customers can depend upon you for an amazing drink and pastry experience. Be timely, dress professionally, and develop long-standing relationships so that visitors look forward to your thoughtful attention.
  • Systems & Processes: Identify ways to improve operating procedures, checklists, and documentation so that your individual observations benefit the entire team and lead to all-around cafe improvements.
  • Team-player: Be a positive, team-oriented player who brings the team up even when the line is out the door. Your coworkers want to work with you again (and again and again). 
  • Other tasks as necessary

Requirements
  • Phenomenal Interpersonal Skills: you should be able to develop a quick rapport with customers by detailing our chocolate making process and why you relate to it, inspiring guests to learn more about chocolate! Proven ability to work well within a team environment.
  • Previous experience: 1-2 years of retail or customer-facing work experience in a fast-paced environment. Experience making espresso drinks is a huge plus!
  • Weekend & Weekday Availability: Available to complete barista training, craft chocolate making, Chocolate 101, and Chocolate 201 classes within 90 days to develop the expertise to answer potential questions from thousands of visitors and regulars. Some evening and weekend availability is required. 

Benefits
Dandelion Chocolate constantly invests in its people and culture. We offer excellent perks including subsidized medical, vision, and dental benefits as well as the option to enroll in our 401k program. Hourly employees receive paid vacation time and sick time. In addition, our team members enjoy product discounts, commuter benefits, local gym discounts, chocolate tasting opportunities, and the chance to travel to origin and our Japan locations.

How to Apply
Dandelion Chocolate is growing and we are invested in employees who take ownership over their role in order to contribute in a bigger way with us. Please email jobs@dandelionchocolate.com. To stand out from the crowd, send us your resume and a cover letter that details your favorite food experience or influence. Keep in mind that we value passion, attitude, and hard work, so tell us what inspires you to join our cafe team.

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