Proper Wages for the Modern Day Barista

the business of coffee houses

Proper Wages for the Modern Day Barista

Postby onocoffee on Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:49 am

I'm hoping that everyone on here would take a leap of faith and share their hourly rate for this thread. I'm interested in developing a competitive and appropriate wage rate for my new shop and wanted to get input from across the nation.

So, with this in mind, would you please share your hourly rate and perhaps the average amount you make per shift in tips?

Currently, I'm paying baristas starting $7.00/hr and while the kiosk is relatively slow compared to many of your shops, I'll make anywhere from $4 to $15 in tips per shift.
Jay Caragay

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Postby Robert Goble on Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:40 am

http://forum.coffeed.com/viewtopic.php? ... light=wage
A related thread. I'd like to see what people pay, but also hear why they pay what they pay. Some attempt to normalize the data (perhaps talking in reference to your state's/country's minimum wage might be helpful.)
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Postby Sandy on Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:53 am

as implemented by the college, our part time staff starts out at $8.50 an hour with yearly cost of living increases.
full timers get paid lots more.


no tips though. all of those get 'donated' to a scholarship fund that is divied up between applicants in our department.
Last edited by Sandy on Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Kevin Cash on Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:17 pm

I'm right with you Jay. I start cashiers/gumpies at $6, then once they are trained they get promoted to a barista....and $7. That seems to be the going rate here in Columbus, Ohio.
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Postby Brent on Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:55 pm

So what do you pay a top Barisa?
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Postby Jeff Jassmond on Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:12 pm

kevin wrote:I'm right with you Jay. I start cashiers/gumpies at $6, then once they are trained they get promoted to a barista....and $7. That seems to be the going rate here in Columbus, Ohio.


I've deleted a knee-jerk reaction, and instead will ask: what is Ohio's minimum wage? :shock:
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Postby Ryan Willbur on Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:55 am

I'm not too proud to state that I'm starting my new shop at $8 and then, once "trained" moving to $9... Dilema here is what happens when I'm the new trainer...

Which brings me to the question, what do you owners pay your trainers?
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Postby Jim Saborio on Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:16 am

Starting bar $6.50/hr
That was when minimum wage was $5.15, it's now $6.95 as of Oct 1.

Weekday tips: $50-90 (10 hour shift)

Weekend tips: $100+ (8-9 hour shift)

Our baristas are tipped-out by the waitstaff (1.25% of sales) which is included in their tips.

Tips are shown for each barista: weekdays one barista on bar, Saturday & Sunday two.

Raises are negotioated with threats, sit-ins, and blunt objects... really.
-JIm

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Postby Kevin Cash on Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:16 am

Jeff Jassmond wrote:I've deleted a knee-jerk reaction, and instead will ask: what is Ohio's minimum wage? :shock:


Minimum wage with tips, is $2.12. Untipped is $5.15. We all split the tips which bumps everyone up into the $10/hr range. Believe me, I'd love to pay everyone $20 and hour, but then again, I like to keep my doors open so they have a job. If tips weren't so high, then I would reconsider, but I have very happy employees.
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Postby Aldo1 on Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:10 am

We start inexperienced baristas at 6.50 here. This after too many instances of someone thinking this was going to be an easy job then quitting three weeks into it when they realized we actually expected them to care about their barista skills AND clean.

Experienced baristas start at 7.50. And I don't count the fully-automatic book store baristas as experienced.

Local coffee chains here seem to pay 6.50.

Key players get paid more. I wish I could pay them WAY more.

I think our baristas take in about 1-3 bucks an hour in tips but it is hard to tell.

I hope others will share, too.
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Postby Rich Westerfield on Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:46 pm

Aldo1 wrote:We start inexperienced baristas at 6.50 here. This after too many instances of someone thinking this was going to be an easy job then quitting three weeks into it when they realized we actually expected them to care about their barista skills AND clean.

Key players get paid more.


Damn. You're not paying me anything, Scrooge.


Btw, if any coffeed.com readers have former baristas who are currently attending any of Pittsburgh's fine universities, please have them give us a call. We're right off the trolley line, so they wouldn't even need a car.
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Postby onocoffee on Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:03 pm

I find it rather distressing how the Modern Day Barista, as evidenced by the Coffeed community, is always so reticent to discuss wage topics.

In an era when we discuss the quality and craftsmanship of the Barista and bemoan the wage scale and potential longevity in the craft, why the hesitation to delve into the matter of compensation?

Am I to believe that everyone is making a grand living off their craft? Am I to believe that $6.50/hr plus tips are perfect? Am I to believe that health care benefits are unnecessary for the Modern Day Barista?
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Postby Ryan Willbur on Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:12 pm

I do agree with Jay... I am being paid very well for a barista. I am now training our baristas and taking on some extra responsibilities... but I am being paid $9.50 an hour... and that is before tips. My wages are great... for a college student.

My problem is this; I love coffee and I would love nothing more than to say I will stick with it until the day I die... but somewhere in that equation I need to find health insurance, retirement, someday a family, and so much more. Someday I will own my own shop, and I realize that more likely then will I be able to afford these things... but chances are slim as just another barista working for a shop. So, I keep half-heartedly pursusing my education...
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Postby sutono on Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:34 pm

We start at $7.50-$8, then give benefits over 20 hours per week. Tips usually work out to $2.75/hr, so our lowest paid barista makes around $10.25. We give raises every six months, and cap it off for non leadership positions at $12 plus tips.

We have low turnover so most of our people are around $9-$10 per hour.


Tony (Bemoaningly Cheap but Apparently Overpaying my Staff) Dreyfuss
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Postby Philip Search on Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:56 pm

We start at $8.50 for newbies, and pay out periodic bonuses as tips for our shop suck. We also include other benifits like free food/drink /whole bean/fresh bread when ever and some of our baristas actually have been known to get by with out purchasing groceries for a month or more. We are not sure about pay increases though, so I am interested to see what others do for that. I should mention we run mostly full time staff, unless someone wants to be part time for school etc.
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Postby Stephen Morrissey on Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:07 am

Minimum wage in Ireland is €7.65

We start baristas off at €9.50

Which works out roughly at $12 us or nearly $14 Canadian.

Tipping is not really done in cafes over here, so they only make around €10 a week on tips.
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Postby Rich Westerfield on Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:16 am

Coffeeparadise wrote:We start at $8.50 for newbies, and pay out periodic bonuses as tips for our shop suck. We also include other benifits like free food/drink/whole bean/fresh bread when ever and some of our baristas actually have been known to get by with out purchasing groceries for a month or more.


When Melanie was discussing our shop, she didn't mention that we do offer healthcare (not 100%, but at a decent discount) if anyone wants it (few do) as well as paid vacation for full timers. Any panini/salads/bagels/etc. leftovers are available to staff - which eliminates their need to buy breakfast/lunch, sometimes dinner.

As Melanie noted, when we opened we overpaid by $2-$3/hour, figuring that we'd attract better talent that way. Surprisingly to us, that didn't work out as expected, so we scaled back wages. With few exceptions, our current staff are better at both drink skills and customer service than our original staff (although the two originals still with us are both awesome). Seems people either want to do this or they don't.

We also pay hotel & some T&E expenses for anyone who wants to compete.
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Postby onocoffee on Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:57 am

I think that, like an athelete, "talent" needs to be developed. One may have an inherent proclivity towards a particular discipline (i.e. football, basketball, barista) but without the proper environment that ability is wasted.

i think there's more to this equation than just offering wages higher than other places, we have to offer an environment that will help develop and grow the professional barista. Once that is in place then the question arises on what level of compensation is needed to accommodate the needs of the professional barista?
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Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:56 pm

I'll chime in... 10.50CDN is what our current baristas make. Cashistas make about 8.50, and double-threats, somewhere in between.
For tips, anywhere from 5-20 a shift, although for myself lately its been closer to 20.

In Saskatchewan last year, 8.16 was deemed a living wage. However, I'd argue cost of living expenses have gone up since.

7.95 will be the new minimum wage in Sask beginning March 2007.
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Postby Lorrie McCullaugh on Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:28 pm

I'll bite.

I am paid $10/hour for my bar shifts. I work about 30 per week on bar, and 10 hours a week on accounting and other paperwork kind of stuff (slightly higher rate for this work). I also receive bonuses, travel expenses and registration for conferences and competitions, and other trips (origin, trips to the roaster, etc.)

We start all new employees at $8, with a raise to 8.25 when they are fully trained in. Another raise to 8.50 when they pass our bar certification. Our night manager makes $9. Generally, the tip average is $3-7 per hour.

Tips flucuate depending on the shift and how well the customers know you. I am one of the consumate morning baristas, and we make between 50 and 80 for a 7 hour shift (25-40 per person).

...but I've been working the same shift for 3 years
...and my competition pictures are all over the place
...and i know the first names of 95% of the people that walk in the door...
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Postby Shane on Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:04 pm

Hey Jimmy How you pulling those kinda tips in the middle of Saskatchewan. Is that Barista tips or fod service tips?
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Postby Jimmy Oneschuk on Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:12 pm

Shane, don't hate on Saskatchewan!

Food tends to get a steady, but relatively low amount, and coffee tends to fluctuate between $1 and nothing. Coffee generates more destination traffic and tends to get higher top end tips.

A really unusual statistic is Saturday AM tends to get the poorest tips, even though our revenue per hour is the highest all week on Sat morning... fortunately, our afternoon crowd balances things out. I haven't been able to figure this one out.
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Postby Shane on Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:28 pm

... no hate on for Saskatchewan bro, grew up in East College Park. Know toon town well.
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Postby ypoedza on Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:16 pm

our baristas are making $8 when they start and $9 when they are fully trained. its so little for them it hurts pretty bad every time pay day comes around.
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Postby rob mcdonough on Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:57 am

I am not speaking for everyone at the company I work for, but personally I make around 45-70$ a shift in tips, depending on which café and which shift I am working. This is in addition to my hourly wage, full healthcare, free massage, and other perks. This is public information thanks to an old portafilter.net podcast (number 16 to be exact). Working for Stumptown, to put it bluntly, rules.
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