depends on the city you are living in and whether or not you want a long term employee or are just tinterested in filling a spot. In Austin taxes and rent are very high and most baristas start at around 7$/hour. Its important to give full time employees a "living wage"...a starving barista will fill his belly with overpriced/low profit pasteries. Also pay attention to how much they make in tips. If their tips are low because they suck fire them...if low because you have tight walleted customers throw them a bone.
Payroll is always daunting when you are looking at a page of numbers but a good barista can make or break your shop.
I was thinking that $7-8 was a bit low, for someone that your business depends on, while you're away. I think a good Barista can make your business better, but to your point, if they get good tips from customers, you shouldn't have to pay them that much. On the other hand, if you get customers that don't tip so well, then maybe extra "comp" doesn't hurt.
Personally I wouldn't leave my shop to a barista....you need to get a supervisor who over sees the baristas. Find people that are friendly and out going...train them how you want them to be trained...don't fall into the trap of hiring someone with experience and have it done the way they feel is right(because that is how insert random coffee house name does it) Just my opinion :wink:
every employee should be a barista, every employee you have should be able to be left on their own, every employee should have a personality, every employee should be taught and able to problem solve., every employee should know how to order supplies, check in an order, plunge a tiolet, hang up on sales calls, take a message for you correctly and be trusted.
We to often feel that no one can do it right except us, not true teach and give your staff the opportunity to prove themselves to you, you will be surprized.
Here, here MC, I couldn't have put it better myself. I would take it a few steps further. Since it is your business, you are ultimately responsible for everything that happens there. So if your employees are not trained properly, you will not get the best results. And that is a direct reflection on you as the owner. Never leave the ultimate decision making to an untrained employee, you will pay twice as much making corrections. As for starting wages, minimum wage is normally good, and tips. Put make sure that you explain their pay during the interview process. That way your wage structure is going to be up front so there won't be any misunderstanding from the start. If the employee stays on beyond your probation period then offer other incentives as long as the employee is improving. Don't offer raises just to be Mr. Nice Guy, offer only if they earn it. If things go right you can go from there... :grin:
$12/hour is what Starbucks in paying in Stamford, CT, according to folks we met at SCAA. Keep in mind Stamford is one of the top five most expensive real estate markets in the nation. To illustrate the difficulty in getting min wage employees, McD's and BK bus employees 25 miles or more from the Bronx and Bridgeport.
Our shop is in Pittsburgh. We pay on average $1.00 more than min to start because we expect more right off the bat - and we want employees to assume they're worth more than the average latte jockey. There isn't much training being done around here - we're asking you to study, practice and learn - and you're not getting much if any tip income while training.
Once trained, you'll start earning tips. Pass the probation period and there's another small bump. If you open or close on your own, that's also worth more as are weekends. Thus we have about a $3 spread in wages between our top people and our newbies.
Full timers do get health benefits if they want - although they're not free nor cheap (but less than if they were to get on their own), plus a week's paid vacation. Another bennie our part-timers enjoy is that any day-olds (panini, muffins, bagels, etc.) are fair game, so most eat on us when there are leftovers.
Plus we pay for air/hotel for all competitions - this year four of us went to the regionals and three to the nationals, where one competed.
Our top earners are clearing $14/hour on good days with tips. For around here, that's pretty liveable.
I'll add to MuddyCup's sage advice that you can teach anyone to be a barista. You can't teach them to be nice. So start with people who treat you, your staff and your customers with respect. Then make them into stars.
Just remember when paying your staff there is also the ungodly taxes that need to be paid.
I start my barista's out pretty much the same wage, unless they have really good experience (not barista experience), serving/customer service experience. Plus they interview extremely well.
In our part of the world, the fast food chains are starting them at $7.00 p/hr plus benefits. I can't compete with that, but if they are personable and really "work" the barista position they can make a great wage.
Muddy Cup - I never thought of teaching my staff (as part of their training) on how to plunge a toilet - thanks for the tip. :lol: