Coffee shops: the best guide to serve your clients correctly 2021

Coffee shops: the best guide to serve your clients correctly 2021

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coffee shops hotel and restaurant guide: Coffee is the best source of customer satisfaction in hotels, breweries, and other establishments. Professionals, in their interest, should therefore take care of their preparation and presentation.

Read about the best 50 coffee shop in the world

Coffee shop rule N1: Moments & serving time 

The moment of consumption: what coffee at what time?



Black or milk coffee; rather full-bodied if milk, rather sweet if dark. Ideally, a mixture containing Robusta.

 In the morning or the afternoon

Arabicas that are lighter in caffeine, cappuccino, flavored coffees

Lunch or dinner

The choice depends on the dish that was eaten just before and what will be eaten next.


Coffee smells differently depending on when it is consumed.


In hotels (“American” type coffee)

Usually prepared using the filtration method in a percolator (cf. F. 11 bis), this coffee can be served at the buffet or served at the table for breakfast. In the first case, the customer uses the machine; in the second, the product is brought to it in a pouring coffee maker. Coffee is consumed in a breakfast cup and served with bread, butter, jam, pastries, orange juice, etc.


In bar-brasserie

Depending on the customer’s request, we can serve:

  • An Expresso is possibly accompanied by a small pot of cold or hot milk, or water, cold or hot.
  • An Expresso cream with hot milk served in a large cup.
  •  A double: coffee made with a double dose of coffee, served in a large cup.
  • One long: Extra hot water long espresso served in a large mug.

In the morning or afternoon: Espresso coffee

Often served at the counter, it can also be requested indoors, especially in the afternoon.

  • Espresso will simply be served in a mug with a spoon and countertop sugar bowl nearby. We find more and more the traditional square of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) which accompanies it.
  • Espresso can also be requested tight: the same dose of coffee as Espresso, but less water.
  • Cappuccino is consumed more and more, especially by young people: heat and froth whole, cold milk with the steam nozzle and place it delicately on an Expresso before sprinkling with cocoa powder. Serve immediately.

At lunch or dinner: Expresso coffee or Piston filter

  • It can be served with dessert (for a customer in a hurry or as a banquet service to shorten the end of the service) or after removing the dessert from the service.
  • At dinner, there is no reason to advise a client against coffee, but the effects of caffeine can be explained to them and possibly directed to a coffee that is low in caffeine. If he persists, do not hesitate to suggest a decaffeinated one.

If serving from a coffee maker, wait until you clear the customers’ table of serving dessert.

Coffee shop rule N2: Choosing the right cups  

The cups: shapes, materials, fashion …

It must be porcelain or earthenware (poor conductor, it will retain heat). With a thick edge precisely to avoid too rapid diffusion of heat: the coffee flows at 82 °, but our lips only tolerate a heat of 70 to 75 °, while thick porcelain will remain at a temperature of 55 to 57 °. Thus, we can drink hot coffee in a lukewarm cup.


Preferably choose a tulip-shaped (conical) cup. Coffee cream is an emulsion of fat; in a cylindrical cup, it is injected vertically and collapses at the bottom while in a tulip cup, it is injected on the wall which gives it a volute pressure.

For the Espresso, the cup should ideally be small, around 8 cl, if possible conical to bring all the cream to the surface (3 cl for the Italian ristretto).

Frequently check the cleanliness and quality of the cups which may turn yellow and are often fragile.


Coffee shop rule N3: The presentation

The presentation, depending on the location

The important thing, in all circumstances, is to serve your coffee with a smile…

The cup must never be taken by the edge, always by the handle or the bottom. The cups will be kept warm on the heated top of the machine (no more than two cups stacked for better heat diffusion), bottom down (it is not advisable to put the cups upside down, then the rim is heated and not the cup).


It is presented to the customer handle on the right side, spoon placed on the cup or next to the cup if it is served on a special tray, handle towards the customer’s right. The sugar is placed next to it. Be careful not to put the chocolates and mignardises on the cup, in contact with the hot cup to prevent them from melting or being altered by the heat of the cup.

The rules for serving coffee

Take the utmost care when serving coffee. Drinking this drink should be a moment of relaxation that often closes a good meal and announces the bill.

Pass the sugar the French way (from the left, the customer helping himself). This is the testimony of very particular attention with the sole objective of privileging the comfort of the customers.


After serving the coffee, take care to remove the wine glasses and renew the mineral water service.

Coffee shop rule N4: Accompaniments 

Sugar: In the interest of perfection, a variety of sugars are now offered with coffee: lumps, candy, brown sugar… However, these sugars still denature the taste of the coffee. Only white powdered sugar should be used. Lump sugar destroys the cream of the coffee, while powdered sugar spreads over the cream and passes through it without damage.

Chocolates, cookies, and mignardises: Chocolate, or Neapolitan, should be bitter chocolate (minimum 69% cocoa). It can be replaced by a cookie in the summer, or to be more original, by coated almonds. Mignardises are recommended in elegant restaurants.


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