Frequently Asked Questions

We know you haven't seen a service like this before, so we're sure you have questions.
Don't see your answer? Contact us by email or call 844-438-2877.


Table Of Contents:


About Our Baristas

When To Use This Service


When are baristas available?

Baristas are available around the clock - whenever you're open, they're ready to make coffee.

The minimum shift length is 5 hours.

How much is this going to cost me and how to the baristas get paid?

All baristas provided through this service are paid rates determined by city. You pay us the hourly rate and we pay the baristas - all wages are passed directly to the barista. Cover That Shift charges a booking fee of $25 per shift - this is to cover the admin time of hiring, vetting, and managing baristas. You can find your local prices by going to the booking page and adding the hours and city to see the price.

Never tried CTS before? Ask us how you can get a first time booking fee on us!

What about tips?

You are responsible for tipping the barista out at the end of their shift.

How do you charge me?

Whether you book online or over the phone, we’ll charge your credit card via Stripe.

Are the baristas CUPS employees?

No, they are independent contractors and fill out a W9 form to reflect this.

How far in advance do I need to request a barista?

We ask you to send in requests by 4pm EST the previous day to provide us ample time to secure a barista. For weekend and holiday shifts, it's 4pm EST two days in advance.

I want to request a shift on a specific date, but I don’t see it as an option. What do I do?

If the date is super far away, just reach out to us and we’ll be happy to book your shift manually. If it’s missing from the list, you may have missed the cut-off or there may not be baristas available that day - feel free to reach out for more info.

Is it possible to book a shift after the 4pm cutoff?

We can’t make any guarantees, but if you reach out to us directly, we’ll try our best to accommodate short-notice requests. You may be charged an additional fee in these special cases.

Can I have the same barista for multiple shifts?

We can’t guarantee this, but we can certainly try! If you request a specific barista, we will reach out to them individually before the rest of the barista pool.

The booking fee seems high - do you have any specials for multiple shifts?

Yes, if you book multiple shifts, the first is $19 and the rest drop to $14 per shift.

About Our Baristas

How do I know the barista is any good?

To qualify to be part of this program, baristas are required to have a minimum of 2 years hospitality experience and 1 year barista experience. Many of our baristas come to us via industry recommendation, and most have several years of experience working in third wave coffee shops. We always call references and vet them carefully, and if ever in doubt, we have access to a training center where we can quality-check their skills in person.

I’m uncomfortable with having a stranger in my shop.

This is totally understandable, but we take recruitment seriously and vet our baristas to ensure they are trustworthy, reliable, and experienced (and cool).

What if I have specific needs from my baristas?

There is a Special Requests section on the order form, and we will try our best to fill any and all requests, such as dress code or familiarity with a particular machine.

What if I have a numerous specialty drinks on my menu?

Our baristas are highly adaptable and have worked in many coffee shops. If you send us a list of your specialties, we’ll pass them along to the barista for their review prior to the shift.

What if I need them to open or close my shop?

We recommend having someone from your team on-site to show them around at least at the beginning of the shift. Since every shop is different, we do not want them going in blind. You can always film a quick video with your phone that shows them where things are and explains how the shop works.

When To Use This Service

One of my baristas just quit. Can this service help me?

YES. We’ve got your back. You can use Cover That Shift to fill in your schedule while you’re short-handed and also to test potential new baristas for hire. This is a great opportunity to try someone out in your shop before making a final decision, and if you book several shifts we will try our best to give them to as few people as possible.

Please note: we charge a $200 finders fee for hiring a Cover That Shift barista. Why? This covers the cost for us to hire and replace one barista.

I’m fully staffed right now. Is this service for me?

Definitely. Even if you’re not looking to hire right now, every business owner has surprise situations where they may need a backup plan. When disaster strikes, we’ve got you covered.

I still don’t fully understand how this works or how to book a shift.

No problem! Just give us a call at 844-438-2877. We’re happy to answer your questions or book over the phone.