About Raising The BARista – the book
The 12 steps to an awesome & Profitable Service Culture

AUTHOR: Justin McGurgan / Date launched: September 2014
Raising the Barista book productAre you in a hospitality business but struggling to take your business to the next level? Do you want a sure-fire way to increase your profits – and have happier customers? Do you want to jump out of bed knowing your business is improving every day?

Hospitality is getting bigger, but not better. It’s getting tougher and tougher to stand out from the crowd. Now, it’s less about what you do and more about WHY you do it. The emotional connection must be front and centre. If you want customers coming back you need to make them feel something different, something special. This is a huge opportunity for those operators who have a true ‘heart’ connection with their customers, and a big threat to those that don’t.

Raising The BARista is your opportunity to re-write the rules, to transform our industry and set a new benchmark in hospitality customer service culture. Change is long overdue. More profits can be made. Staff re-engaged and you can run a thriving, wonderful business. You can be part of it.

I’ll put the kettle on. You start at the beginning.

Having worked in and with leading venues in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, Justin McGurgan has seen the very best and very worst of customer service and can attest to the value of ‘making a real connection’ with your customers. We have an incredible opportunity because we work in an industry that touches people every day in a very personal way – the opportunities for human connection are extraordinary. Justin’s client base gives him access to some of the best minds and ideas in the business. He is passionately committed to re-imagining hospitality and breathing new life into it.

Let’s face it. The customer expectation has changed and so must we. No longer is service the key – it is now about creating experiences for your customers that have a substantial impact and create an emotional connection. The food, beverage, rooms, entertainment and other services provide the stage from which we engage with our customers. If you create outstanding customer experiences, you create happy customers and happy customers come back again and again.

Rather than just doing ad-hoc customer service training, the secret is a far more proactive approach to attracting and retaining customers as ‘raving fans’, as well as upselling for profit. He has created a 12-step ‘service culture process’ that provides a step by step guide to creating an awesome service culture that is sustainable, and returns great profits. It helps hospitality venues to understand WHY this is so important:

• Creating stronger, more meaningful connections with our customers brings them back
• Creating powerful and authentic guests experiences means they recommend us
• Becoming famous for service means people come from afar
• Knowing it’s not about better – it’s about different and therefore memorable
• Knowing what makes service memorable-Unexpected, Empathetic, Authentic

The truth is, lasting impressions are made at the ‘edges’, where people step outside the normal routines and do something different. That’s where the opportunity lies. If we’re going to create truly memorable experiences for our customers we need to do something different.

Here’s how!

Raising The BARista – The 12 Steps to an Awesome and Profitable Service Culture provides a step by step process to arm all your people with the inspiration, knowledge and practical tools that they need to create stronger connections with the people they interact with every day.

1. Culture Change and Planning – Getting your leaders engaged
2. The Leadership Compass – What direction is your leadership group going?
3. Getting the ‘Why now!, Getting the ‘What’s needed’, ‘Getting the by When’
4. Team Engagement – Skills for your leadership group
5. Critical Culture Essentials – Skills for your front line team
6. Communication – Successful influencing for leaders and team members
7. Putting The Hospitality Back Into Hospitality
8. Customer Conversion – Make sure they know we care
9. Recruitment – Hiring for attitude, personality, and people skills
10. Performance Manage Them-Up or out but do it daily
11. Empowerment and Feedback – Breaking the barriers to success
12. Rewards and Awards – Incentives that excite and motivate

This same 12-step process is used by Justin’s own training company “Zealifi: A Culture of Hospitality” with leading, award-winning hospitality venues.

Raising The BARista puts hospitality back into hospitality. Raising The BARista is about being bold, not beige. Read this book and expect the unexpected. Raising The BARista – The 12 Steps to an Awesome and Profitable Service Culture is the first definitive step by step guide to help hospitality venue operators rediscover and unlock their own unique customer service potential.
Justin shares his best knowledge based on being a hospitality industry team member, duty manager, general manager, facilitator, consultant, and business owner and he believes this book will be the difference between the eventual failure or success for many hospitality venues. If you are serious about creating an awesome customer service culture that increases profit, then stop thinking about it and let’s do it.

“Your book Raising The Barista is a great read, it hits the nail on the head on where we should be in terms of customers service. You have managed to write a book for all businesses where people deal with people no matter what they are selling and from my perspective your background in Hospitality made the book particularly interesting and applicable. It certainly has our team thinking with your step by step common sense approach to customer service, the heart of any good business.” Doug Wakefield, Carina Leagues Club

“Raising the Barista – The 12 steps to an awesome and profitable service culture is fantastic book for any business that wants to lift their game and attract more customers. This book is extremely well written, well thought out and packed full of valuable information. Justin McGurgan really knows his stuff when it comes to creating a awesome and profitable service culture”. Katie Marshall, Chics and Mortar

“This book has re-ignited my passion for the industry.” Scott Page, Franchise Operations, Crema Expresso

“I finished your book on the weekend and must say I really enjoyed the read. I love the way you have given the tools to “make it happen” rather than just another “great customer service” read. will highly recommend, thanks”. Michelle Best, Carina Leagues Club

Want to learn more about Justin? Click here to read about his background, which venues helped shape Justin’s service culture expertise and his ability to help other venues with his infectious belief in the power of awesome service culture! Or you can just give him a call and organise that cuppa.



Raising The BARista delivers a 12-step process to help you create an awesome, sustainable service culture that returns great profits.

Chapter 1

Culture Change

A culture is the values and practices shared by the members of a group.  Where is our culture now and how do we get it to where we want it to be?

Chapter 2

What Direction Are Your Team Leaders Taking?

This chapter provides valuable insight into your leadership team and how to work with each other’s strengths to deliver awesome customer service!

Chapter 3

Getting the Why? – Unlocking your awesome and profitable service culture

This chapter gets to the real reasons of why an awesome service culture is vital and how easy it is to be the best if we ‘get the why’.

Chapter 4

Leadership Characteristics and Values

If we truly engage our team, awesome customer service will be the new normal! This chapter is all about leaders learning about the characteristics and values needed to engage your team so they can’t wait to come to work and deliver awesome customer service.

Chapter 5

Critical Culture Essentials – Skills for your front line team

It’s time to rewrite the rules – what is our customer service commitment? The purpose of this chapter is to help managers introduce team members to customer service behaviours that reflect the ‘essence’ of what it is to be a hospitality employee.

Chapter 6

Communication -Successful influencing skills and conflict solutions for team leaders

This chapter discusses the influencing skills that leaders need in order to get the best out of their team and provide solutions to conflict.

Chapter 7

Putting the Hospitality Back into Hospitality

How can we put our critical culture essentials into practice every day and WOW our guests?

Chapter 8

Make Sure They Know We Care

Creating lasting impressions and enriched experiences for our guests converts our first time visitors to regulars and our regulars to members of our club or VIP/loyalty/rewards program, and our members to raving fans.

Chapter 9

Recruitment – Hiring for attitude, personality and people skills

Let’s face it, if we recruit the right people first with the right attitude, the rest of our team AND our guests will love us for it. This chapter is specifically placed at number 9 out of the 12 steps.

Chapter 10

Performance Manage Them – Up or out but do it daily

Build a team of guest service champions. There’s no longer room for team members who aren’t performing. Average is no longer good enough. Manage them up or manage them out.

Chapter 11

Empowerment and Complaint Solutions

Show staff how they can be a guest service champion. Empower your staff to take ownership and fix the problems fast. Then get out of their way and let them do it.

Chapter 12

Rewards and Awards – Incentives that excite and motivate

Once you have achieved a great culture with guest service standards that are known and shown by all, it will be time to celebrate by recognising and rewarding these observable behaviours.


The secret to a better venue, increased customer spend and enhanced experience for your guests is right here, working in your venue already.