Mullins hired a yoga instructor to teach movement, meditation, and mindfulness to his baristas, and worked closely with the shop’s architects to design counters and materials ergonomically suited to working on your feet for long hours—super cushy floor mats included.
For Mullins, it’s all about proactivity. His priority is helping his staff cultivate good habits, rather than correcting mistakes down the line. The physical demands of a barista are tough, so teaching movement and some strength training at the beginning keeps the barista in tip-top shape, ready to work long days on their feet.
It’s kind of a no-brainer. Building body awareness through yoga and mindfulness benefits work flow, which keeps the baristas happy, which keeps customers happy and coming back. It’s a sustainability loop that makes being a barista a more solid career choice. Mullins agrees: “Baristas are often seen as expendable, but this way they can see the job lasting longer and be happier doing it.”
—Rachel Sandstrom Morrison is Fresh Cup’s associate editor.