I am losing not one, but two good employees to Starbucks the same month.  Both are leaving because of the benefits Starbucks presents employees.  I'm bummed, but cannot compete with those benefits.  We are generous with our employees, pay well, provide good working conditions, take our baristas to workshops, CoffeeFest, etc., value their input, and are very flexible with their schedules.....anyone else want to pipe in?  What are baristas paid in the midwest?  What benefits should be expected?  How do other small business owners manage these issues?

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Where can you cut unnecessary costs to make benefits a possibility?  Do benefits make sense in your business model? How much are you spending a year sending baristas to workshops and coffeefest and such?  Do you and your baristas think this is more important than benefits? What is the cost of turnover and training new employees?  What percentage of pay in from you towards benefits would make sense for the bottom line?  

We do offer benefits to employees who work 25+ hours a week but we had to assess all of these factors and more before we could determine if it was a possibility.  Luckily it was but it certainly isn't free or an easy decision.

Don't take making this decision lightly.  Look at everything and if it makes sense for you offer it, if not, don't.  We personally think providing benefits among other things affords us a lower turnover rate and consistently drives higher caliber applicants to us.  Not to mention the most important fact that if something terrible was to happen to one of our baristas they would be taken care of.  This insurance for us makes putting away or taking home less money each month an easy decision to make.  

But in the end if the money ain't there, the money ain't there and there's not much you can do.

Best of luck in finding a solution.

 

If these baristas are single, and they make less then 100% of federal poverty level they should qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare. And if they do make not much more isn't the subsidy supposed to kick in? if they are married and neither partner has employer medical benefit plan, their combined income could put them into a bracket that makes insurance unaffordable. And my limited understanding is that people under 30 can still buy cheap high deductible plans.
Starbucks benefit isn't all that great. It was getting expensive when I last worked there three and a half years ago. It's very expensive for a family in terms of the costs beyond the premium - co pays co insurance and out of pocket. More expensive than buying private insurance. For a single person the premiums are probably still affordable.

As for other benefits, Starbucks is no longer a level playing field, older employees will have better benefits then newer ones, like vacation and holidays. Benefits do tend to be grandfathered for exsisting employees when changes are made. Like paid holidays and personal days.

I may be way off-base here, but in my 9 years of shop ownership, I haven't heard of this happening much elsewhere. Starbucks (or any corporate coffee place, for that matter) is just "a job," whereas a great cafe can be a whole lot more. That's not to say that you shouldn't look into offering benefits, but I'd take a deep breath and ask my remaining employees to be blunt on what they like and don't like about their work, what they like and don't like about ME, etc... Connect to them on a family-type level, if possible, and also constantly ask yourself how you can get them to be "invested" in your company. 

We have created a family atmosphere, accommodating everyone's personal schedules, offering additional training for employees, celebration dinners, bonuses, invitations to barista events…..and pay better than average…..the two going to Starbucks BEGAN at Starbucks, but always talked about how much more they enjoyed working at our cafe…..

I have no answers!


R. Justin Shepherd said:

I may be way off-base here, but in my 9 years of shop ownership, I haven't heard of this happening much elsewhere. Starbucks (or any corporate coffee place, for that matter) is just "a job," whereas a great cafe can be a whole lot more. That's not to say that you shouldn't look into offering benefits, but I'd take a deep breath and ask my remaining employees to be blunt on what they like and don't like about their work, what they like and don't like about ME, etc... Connect to them on a family-type level, if possible, and also constantly ask yourself how you can get them to be "invested" in your company. 

I hate to drag politics into this situation, but I wonder if this is the sort of thing we're going to see more of as the ACA Individual Mandate deadline approaches? I have been out of the cafe management side of the business for a couple of years now, so am kind of removed from looking at things through that lens, but it seems like that could conceivably be part of the issue. Was that mentioned?

Well , Never had any probleme keeping good staff!! need 12 in summer and 45 in winter! most of them return every year , we are in small comunity but there is lots of workers around and still rather treat my staff as friend, We do 2 massive staff party and several small one. all staff get 50 % at all time on food and coffee , witch mean that they always comback in there day off, witch is great for the usual costumer to see all the staff there in there time off. Also the have a free lunch everyday! (we decide what is the lunch to asure a good rotation on the stock)

All my staff  are always happy to be at work and this is really important to me!

be nice to your staff and they will give it back to you twice in hardwork and word of mouth publicity.

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