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Satisfaction Pays

Employers must consider the benefits of salaried versus hourly employment options in everything from hiring to budgeting to scheduling. Each has its own set of challenges to overcome, but we are going to focus on the advantages in each camp.



Hourly Baristas


Hourly employees at any organization typically have less experience and/or education, and their wage per hour breakdown is indicative of this. The cost of employing hourly staff is an advantage for café owners. Hourly employees enjoy a nonexempt status, which means they are eligible for overtime compensation that has the potential to bridge the gap between any wage discrepancies that exist between hourly and salaried employees—if said employee is willing to work extra hours. Baristas paid by the hour are more motivated to put in the extra time, because time is money and money is a motivator. There is also a feeling of stability that comes with having set hours to clock in and out, which helps balance the possible inconsistencies between paychecks based on hours worked.



Salaried Baristas

The biggest advantage of salaried employees is the experience that usually accompanies them. They take less time and money to train and are already confident in their knowledge and skills. An additional advantage for café owners is salaried baristas are exempt employees.


Exempt employees  make budgeting and scheduling easier for owners with their exemption from overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 hours per week. It allows for built-in time at a guaranteed price point. Salaried employees traditionally enjoy the consistency of steady paychecks, schedule flexibility in the form of paid vacation time and the accessibility to benefits packages that is typically associated with salaried positions.



The old adage, “Six of one, half-dozen of another,” seems well-suited to the salaried versus hourly employee debate. The benefits to each approach appear balance the scales as one person may find the ability to earn extra cash by working more appealing while another prefers predictable cashflow. The most important factor to consider, however, is your employees themselves. What makes the most sense based on relevant experience, specific skills, propensity to succeed, reliability, consistency and more. We think if you make a point to hire motivated go-getters and compensate them accordingly, you’ll be rewarded with satisfied employees who want to put in the hours and excel in their work.