How Should You Pay Your Cafe Workers?


The cafe scene in Singapore has been booming over the past few years. Despite the potentially high rental costs and highly saturated market, new cafes continue to spring up around neighbourhoods in Singapore. It would not be surprising if you are one of the many aspiring cafe owners who is already in the midst of running a small cafe business at your void deck.

However, in order for your cafe business to grow and expand, this would indefinitely warrant more helping hands. With the rise in number of openings, competition for cafe helpers is fierce. Moreover, finding the right talent to manage your cafe business is a battle of costs versus manpower.

So how can you give your cafe that extra edge in attracting these talents? One of the most common tools would be compensation, which essentially includes hourly wages or a fixed salary. When it comes to determining how should you pay your cafe workers, here are some factors to take note of.

Hourly wages versus fixed salary

Traditionally, whether an employee is paid hourly or given a monthly salary is determined by their role. Fixed or long-term roles in the cafe, such as the manager and chefs are often paid on a salaried basis. On the other hand, the service or delivery staff are usually paid hourly.

How much should you pay?

This is the trickiest part when it comes to hiring your staff. While you do not want to underpay your workers such that they quit within a couple of months, you do not want to pay them that much to the extent that your revenue is unable to cover your manpower costs. Essentially, regardless of whether the position can help to drive growth or is just a support role, determine the highest salary that you are willing to pay for that position. Thereafter, consider the lowest amount that you are willing to pay.

These pay information can be easily found using online tools to determine the market rate for the specific roles. Websites such as Glassdoor and Payscale gives you market information on the pay scales within the food and beverage industry.

With this pay range, it helps you work out how much you should be paying your workers. The last determining factor would be to consider the individual.

Singapore’s wage laws

Besides ensuring that your workers are compensated competitively and fairly, another important matter to take note of is the wage laws in Singapore. Given that your cafe business is likely to operate differently as opposed to office hours, your chefs and service staff are likely to clock in overtime hours. Do note that in Singapore, you are required under the Employment Act to pay overtime hours to your workers and based on the overtime rates as well.

To find out more about the overtime hours and overtime payment rate in Singapore, check out the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website here.

Related reading: How to select the right freelancer for the job

What else can you offer on top of competitive wages?

Aside from competitive wages, perks and benefits are a great way to attract and retain your staff as well. Of course, while it is definitely incomparably to large corporate companies, simple perks can help to create a culture that makes your workers feel more valued. Simple actions could include an “Worker of the Month” award which recognises the service staff which has provided the best customer service. Another way is to organise a barbeque get-together to foster closer bonds and build rapport with your workers as well.

Your chefs and service crew play a vital role in ensuring that your cafe business stays strong within the competitive market. With the right compensation and talent, it could very well your cafe that extra edge!

This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

GpayrollGpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

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