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Santa Barbara Zoo


Santa Barbara, CA
Full Time
  • Responsibilities


    Full-time and part-time opportunities

    Do you like animals, children and their families? Are you interested in working outdoors in one of the most beautiful work environments in Santa Barbara?

    Do you enjoy the smell, preparation and serving of hot beverages and cocktails, as well as engaging in positive conversations with guests?

    We are searching for an engaging, courteous Barista who is passionate about food and beverage preparation and education, as well as the natural world, to join our Culinary Program. The Barista will greet guests, answer their questions, take orders and accept payments, prepare and serve food and hot beverages and cocktail drinks at our new coffee cart “The Buzz”. You will also maintain a clean and well-stocked workspace, update menu and displays as needed, and continuously expand your knowledge of food and beverage quality controls, preparation methods, and presentation.

    You need to be committed to providing our guests with excellent service and experience. You should be positive, friendly, knowledgeable, a good listener and engaging.

    Wages: $12/hour and up, DOE


    Under general direction of Culinary Programs Manager, the Barista facilitates a positive guest experience by providing fast quality service and enjoyable beverages to guests and employees of the Santa Barbara Zoo. Responsible for the preparation, replenishment and sale of all items needed for the Buzz Cart.

    ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:

    Prepares Buzz Cart and items needed to run daily operations before we open to the public

    Prepares and sells alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, hot and cold beverages, such as coffee, espresso drinks, blended coffee, teas and pastries.

    Welcomes guests and determines their hot beverage and/or cocktail drink interests and needs.

    Educates guests by presenting and explaining the hot beverage & drink menu; answering questions and suggesting products, and resolving complaints.

    Learn about brewing methods, beverage blends, food preparation, and presentation techniques to improve food quality and explain products.

    Verifies guests ID to ensure those purchasing alcohol are over 21 y.o., and does not sell to intoxicated persons.

    Receives and processes payments using POS.

    Generates revenues by attracting new and returning customers, updating signage and displays to attract guests.

    Keeps equipment operating by following operating instructions; troubleshooting breakdowns; maintaining supplies; performing preventive maintenance; calling for repairs as applicable.

    Maintains safe and healthy work environment by following organization standards and sanitation regulations. Complies with all ServSafe, Health Department, and ABC regulations.

    Cleans and sanitizes work areas, utensils, and equipment daily or as needed, including the interior and exterior of the Beverage Cart & surrounding area.

    Improves quality results by studying, evaluating, and re-designing processes; implementing changes after they are vetted by manager; maintaining and improving the appearance of the cart.

    Enhances Culinary Program’s reputation, by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to Buzz Cart and job accomplishments.

    Adheres to the Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual.

    Applies and Exemplifies “green” (sustainable) practices whenever possible.

    Attends monthly all-employee meetings.


    Cross-trains within department to learn and fill other positions when required.

    Other duties as assigned.

    Guest Relations

    Greets every guest with a smile.

    Thanks guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo.

    Answers phone calls, voice mails, and e-mails promptly.

    Insures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash, reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions.

    Associates with guests to assist and share information.

    Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures.

    Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code.

    Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending meetings.

    Reflects the qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge.


    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    Education and Experience:

    Minimum 21 years of age

    High School Diploma or equivalent.

    Prior experience as a barista is preferred.

    Customer service experience is preferred.

    Familiarity with Point of Sale systems a plus.

    License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:

    Valid driver’s license with good driving record is desirable

    Valid California Food Handler’s Certificate. Knowledge of health department food preparation regulations.

    Knowledge, Skills and Ability:

    Ability to maintain regular and consistent attendance and punctuality

    Effective oral and written communication skills. Ability to talk to others to convey information effectively.

    Active Listening skills: ability to give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    Ability to problem solve: identify problems, review related information to develop and evaluate options and recommend or implement solutions.

    Critical Thinking skills: ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions and approaches to problems.

    Excellent planning, organizational and interpersonal skills

    Must be service oriented and always actively looking for ways to help guests

    Familiarity with various coffee types is preferred -but not required

    Ability to easily retain and deliver menu information

    Ability to comfortably up-sell without sounding pushy

    Ability to take orders, deliver them, and handle payments quickly, efficiently and accurately

    Must be reliable and detailed oriented, keeping quality control in mind

    Must enjoy working in a team-environment and building great relationships with their coworkers.

    Speed and Efficiency- must be able to work quickly, embrace and learn new information, multi-task successfully and incorporate feedback into personal performance.

    Willingness to work as part of a high-energy, efficient team with times of high volume sales and times that may be slow.

    Ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. Ability to perform accurate cash handling such as making change and counting banks.

    Ability to remain calm and composed in times of emergency and stress, and to make sound decisions quickly.

    Must have excellent time management, organizational and interpersonal skills.

    Ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.

    Ability to develop productive and friendly relationships at work.. Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and our guests.

    Ability to exercise safe work habits.

    Ability to wear common protective or safety equipment

    Ability to perform routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

    Availability and ability to work weekends, holidays and some evenings for events, as well as around peak hours-

    Physical Demands & Work Environment:

    Requires the ability to access all areas of the facility.

    Requires the ability to negotiate the zoo work environment including behind-the-scenes, lawns, gravel, and hilltop.

    Requires ability to work successfully in shared open space kitchen environment, with various lighting, various temperatures, various sounds/noise levels, and constant interruptions.

    Requires ability to work in and around the Buzz Cart.

    Ability to lift, push and pull up to 40 lbs. from the ground up to waist high.

    Must be able to stand/walk, bend and stand by the cart for extended periods (6-8 hours on average).

    Ability to perform physical activities that require considerable use of arms and legs and moving the whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, reaching, turning, performing precision work with fingers, and handling of materials.

    Ability to exert a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly push, pull or otherwise move objects.

    Ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.

    Ability to quickly move hand, hand together with arm, or two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

    Must have good hearing and listening skills to receive information for drink orders spoken by customers.

    Good near and far vision.

    Ability to work effectively in a fast paced work environment during peak times.

    Exposure to sharp objects and hot surfaces.

    Involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions.

    Supportive and open employment culture.

    Tools Used:

    Buzz Cart Equipment

    Protective/Safety Kitchen Equipment

    POS and Cash Registers

    Desktop computer or laptop

    Standard kitchen utensils and equipment

    This job description is representative of the expectations of the position described. Additional duties, reporting relationships, and/or position criteria may be assigned as deemed necessary by the Culinary Programs Manager or authorized representative. No changes to this job description shall be made without written permission by the HR or authorized representative.

    The Zoo reserves the right to revise this job description at any time. The job description does not constitute a contract for employment, and does not guarantee employment for any specified period of time. The job description does not in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.

    “I have read and understand the terms of this job description. I understand that measurements and evaluations of my performance in the described position shall be based in part on this job description.”