Crimson Cup founder offers training tips to other coffee house owners

Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea Founder and President Greg Ubert contends that thorough training for owners and baristas is critical when starting and running a successful independent coffee house.

In fact, Ubert is so convinced of this that Columbus-based Crimson Cup offers free training through its 7 Steps to Success coffee shop franchise alternative, which he says has helped set up hundreds of independent coffee shops since 1991.

“There’s much more to running a successful coffee house than knowing how to brew coffee and make espresso-based drinks,” says Ubert. “It’s a tall order to master all the elements of running a small business while simultaneously learning the nuances of the specialty coffee business.”

Crimson Cup offers everything a coffee franchise does, but without franchise fees, royalties, or business restrictions, he says.

Below are several tips Ubert has for creating a training program that covers all elements of running a successful coffee house:

  • • Learn the dynamics of coffee. Begin with quality beans –their origins and characteristics– and then walk through the brewing process to learn what happens to the coffee throughout the stages of preparation.
  • • Understand the equipment. Whether it’s your coffee brewer, espresso grinder, or the actual espresso machine, it’s important to know what each machine does and how it works, so that you can serve a consistently wonderful beverage every time.
  • • Brush up on business skills. From marketing to supervising employees to ordering supplies and more, you’re in charge. Make sure you’re prepared to manage all the backroom functions that will keep your coffee business in business.
  • • Get hands-on training. Reading books or watching videos is a good start, but most people learn best from doing. This is especially true with coffee preparation, where a small mistake can turn a wonderful beverage into a murky mess.
  • • Work with pros. Learn from industry experts who not only know what they’re doing, but who also know how to teach their skills to others.
  • • Know that a day is not enough. We used to offer a one-day course on drink preparation, but it wasn’t nearly enough. You should devote several days to training, and your trainer should stay on site at least through opening day.
  • • Retrain as needed. Over time –and with employee turnover– people can slip into bad habits without even realizing it. A refresher helps everyone get back on track again.

Training, though, is only a part of Crimson Cup’s 7 Steps program, which is based on Ubert’s book, “Seven Steps to Success in the Specialty Coffee Industry,” which is now in its second printing.

The program is equally effective for those interested in starting a new coffee house or purchasing an existing coffee shop, he says.

“We’ll help you create a solid coffee shop business plan that covers all the bases− from choosing a location to hiring and training your staff, purchasing equipment, developing a menu, and much more,” he adds.

To learn more about the 7 Steps program or to schedule an initial consultation, visit or call 888-800-9224.