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A Day In The Life Of A Cafe Operations Lead With Amanda Angell

par Daria Toptygina sur Apr 19, 2024

A Day In The Life Of A Cafe Operations Lead With Amanda Angell

This past Friday I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with Amanda Angell, Cafe Operations Lead at Equator Coffee Roasters, to get some insight into her day-to-day life and see how her passion for people, love of coffee, and inclination towards cafe atmospheres let her ensure every Equator Cafe runs smoothly.

How long have you been Cafe Operations Lead at Equator? 

Since January 2024. So, just coming up on . . . three and a half months now.

How long have you been with Equator? Have you had other roles in the company before your current one?

Yes. I was a Cafe Manager from 2019, so I was managing our Almonte location for two years. And then I moved over and helped them open Kanata, and then I managed Kanata before my mat leave. And then my new role came in.

What interested you to work in the coffee space?

I've always been in food and beverage. That's where my background comes from. And I just really like the relaxed kind of flow of things as well as the atmosphere in cafes. They just give off really nice vibes: really good people, really social. So, that's always kind of been the pull for me. And, plus, I've always loved coffee.

What is your favourite type of coffee to drink?

Outlier. My normal drink would be brewed coffee, but I do really like also a flat white; that has a stronger flavor, but you really get the flavor of the coffee, which is really nice. Yeah, Outlier is definitely my favorite: really good chocolatey notes, super smooth . . . I'd say Freakin’ Good is definitely top for customers, but for the staff usually it's Outlier or Sweet Justice.

What would you say you enjoy most about your work?

I think dealing with people. I've always been more on the outgoing social side. I come from a large family, so I think I enjoy just being around people, working with people. Also, just being the kind of happiness in someone's day, because everybody who wants coffee and loves coffee, you know, it can change their day very easily.

What kind of education and/or training does your role require?

So, I wouldn't say there's a huge requirement specifically for anything, but I have a Hotel Restaurant Management Diploma from Algonquin, which I think definitely helps working in a management role. A lot of it I would say is very experience-wise. So I've had experience managing cafes, hiring, working with coffee, working with people. I'd say all of that is all related in a sense, but I think, yeah, experience more-so than an actual degree or anything.

Can you walk me through what a typical day looks like for you?

Yeah, I can do my best. Every day is very different. Usually it's: choose a cafe – where am I needed most that day, walk in, communicate with the staff, catch up. First thing I usually do is emails, catching up and seeing if there's anything that needs to be responded to right away, anything that I need to action based on those emails. And then go over my daily kind of to-do for that day. So, it looks very different every day, but, you know, whether that's interviews with people, whether I have specific actionable items with the Manager themselves or staff. I also help with training sometimes, too. Sometimes I also will jump on the floor if I feel like they need a hand at that moment. And I have to work on forecasts for the following week for labor and scheduling. I double-check the schedules for the Cafe Managers before they post them to keep within our labor requirements, and answering a bunch of phone calls, sometimes dealing with customer relations – if we have any issues or concerns or questions, I can be there to help. And then I also have a hand in payroll, but that's every two weeks. So, it's not really an everyday thing, but it's something that I keep an eye on. And then also I help with the invoicing and inputting them into our new system for all the cafes. There's probably more, but that's kind of the gist of it.

What is the most exciting part about your work?

I think the fluidity of it all: that it's not the same every day, getting to go to the different cafes. So, I'm usually in each of the cafes at least once a week, probably more. So just getting that change of scenery, change of people, and also just being able to help the Managers so that they have the time to manage the cafes. That's, in a sense, what my job is . . . helping them so that the operations can run more smoothly in the cafes. But, I enjoy all of that: helping them, helping people. 

Do you mostly work alone or with others? I know, based on what you've said, you seem to do both online and in-person work? 

Generally, I'm in the cafes every day. I can work from home, so some afternoons if I need a quiet space to get a lot of this done, I can work from home as well. But, it's mostly in the cafes. I work very closely with the Director of Cafes, and the Managers as well. But, I'd say it's mostly in person.

Have you ever been on one of Equator’s origin trips? If not, is that something you would ever consider?

I have not had the chance. The two times that it popped up, I was going on mat leave. So, I unfortunately lost out, but I would absolutely love to be on one of those trips . . . Expanding my knowledge and learning the true starts of where coffee comes from would be very, very helpful for my role as well as just so fun to learn to get my coffee kind of knowledge up there.

Was there a particular country you would ever want to – if you could choose – go to?

I wouldn't say I'm stuck on any specific one. I just think it would be fun to be able to at least see a farmer, meet them, see where it all comes from, how it works, not just reading about it, right? Like actually getting to live it, see the reality of it.

What would you like someone who's interested in becoming a Cafe Operations Lead to know?

It's a lot of work. Lots of coordination with many different people . . . You got to work on your time management. You have to be able to be fluid, jumping on multiple tasks at one time, but also having to, you know, make sure that you are finishing your tasks. Definitely wearing a lot of hats, a lot of different hats, but it's a great learning role. It's also dependent on who you work with, but my Director of Cafes knows a lot, so I'm learning a lot and it is fun. I get to keep up with every cafe, every person, really get a good feel for the company and the different ins and outs of it. So, yeah, just lots of different knowledge. And I think a little bit of experience in the cafes, and working with the cafes, even managing would be really ideal, too, in order to know the role.


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