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.


General  ×   On Demand Barista  ×   Job Board





What is the difference between Cover That Shift on demand and Cover That Shift The Job Board?

Cover That Shift is for specialty coffee shops who just need one or a few shifts filled, and connects them with available baristas who want to pick up extra shifts.
The Job Board is for specialty coffee shops looking to permanently expand their team, and connects with them qualified, talented applicants.

On Demand Barista

How do I know the baristas are 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).


When are baristas available?

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


How long do I have to book a barista for?

The minimum shift length is 5 hours.


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

All rates are determined by city; NYC, Philadelphia, and Nashville baristas are paid $12/hr and Bay Area baristas are paid $14/hr. You pay us the hourly rate and we’ll then pay the baristas—all wages are passed directly to the barista. Cover That Shift also charges a booking fee of $29 per shift or $35 per shift booked if the shift is the following day —this is to cover the admin time of hiring, vetting, and managing baristas.


What about tips?

You are responsible for tipping the barista out at the end of their shift. If you are unable to cash the barista out on their credit cards tips we can charge your card the amount owed to the barista and pass it onto them, but we will just have to add a 3% credit card processing fee to the tips. 


How do you charge me?

Your credit card will be charged upon check out.


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, the cutoff is 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.


Am I able to book multiple shifts at once?

Yes you can book multiple shifts at checkout. For bulk shifts more than 2 weeks away, we will charge your card at once for the booking fees and will charge your card for the hourly wages once the shifts have been filled. Cover That Shift reserves the right to change this policy depending on the circumstance.


Do you provide baristas for private events or catered events?

Absolutely! We've provided baristas for many different kinds of events. Please book the request via the website or contact us directly if you have questions.


What are you cancellation policies?

Shifts cancelled within 24 hours of shift date will not be refunded. For all other shift cancellations, we will return the booking in form of Cover That Shift credit and pass along 50% of the wages onto the barista. 


What if I send the barista home early from their shift? 

If a barista is sent home early due to their assistance being no longer needed, we will still pass along the promised wages. If a barista is sent home due to poor performance we will pass along 50% of their promised wages for the commitment and travel to their shift. If 50% of their wages equates to less than three hours of work, we will pay them for three hours of work. 


What if I have specific demands for my baristas?

You can specify these in the Special Needs section on the order forms. We will try our best to fill any and all requests, such as dress code or familiarity with a particular machine.


What if I'd like to hire the barista who filled a shift(s) in my coffee shop? 

If you hire a barista through Cover That Shift, but outside of our Job Board, we charge a $200 finders fee. This fee covers the cost of hiring and replacing the on-demand barista. If you are looking to grow your team you may also purchase a post on our Job Board. 


What if I have numerous specialty drinks on my menu?

Our baristas are highly adaptable and have worked in many different 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.

Job Board


How long will it take for my job to be posted?

Positions are not posted immediately because our team personally edits and refines each submission, so that you can be sure to receive the most applications possible. We will personally notify you once your job post is live!  


How long will it be up for?

Based on what product you choose - 14 or 30 days.


How will applicants be sent to me?

You’ll receive applicants via email as they come through.


Do you interview them for me?

We pre-vet our baristas well and only send you qualified applicants, so you can rest assured that whoever you speak with will be a valid candidate. But in the end, it’s up to you to speak with the baristas you select and decide who to hire! We are not responsible for scheduling interviews. 


What cities are you available in?

We are located in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco/Bay Area, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Chicago—and expanding quickly, so stay tuned!

For Baristas

How do I sign up?

Head to the For Baristas section on our website where you can apply to pick up shifts or apply for permanent positions.  


Do I qualify as a Cover That Shift Barista?

We require all baristas in our community to have at least 2 years experience in specialty coffee. Latte art skills are preferred.


I applied to multiple jobs but haven’t heard back

Sometimes coffee shops take their time with deciding the candidates they would like to interview. Additionally, if you do not hear back for some time you can assume they have decided to not move forward with you application.


How do I get paid?

We make payments via direct deposit into your account on Mondays for any shifts filled the previous week. You will be notified when the payment has been made.


Do I need to fill out any forms?

The only thing we need to collect from you is your application, your W9, and your bank routing and account number for direct deposit.


Am an employee of CUPS?

No, you are an independent contractor and will be sent a 1099 at the end of the year dependent on how many shifts you fill in that given year.


Does it cost me anything to apply for a position?

Nope! Of course not. We’re trying to get you hired.


Is there a dress code?

No unless stated otherwise by coffee shop owner. Wear what you feel comfortable in, but also keep in mind it is something you would wear to any barista gig.