Managing and paying staff

I want to begin a Chapatti business but I don’t know how to pay and manage my workers.


Paying and managing workers is substantially the same in any business.

You don’t say what kind of scale you are talking about; some principles will be the same whether you are considering one roadside stall or a chain of eating places in your town or city

You don’t ask for help with other aspects of the business, but you should have a very basic business plan in mind, and need to think about equipment, location of the business, recruitment of correct staff, sourcing ingredients, food offer, recipes, etc.

You need to also consider what you plan your role to be. In most businesses, there will be admin work to do, paperwork to sort out, supplies to be ordered. If you are doing that you will need someone else to be serving customers.

Begin by calculating how many staff you will need at any point in the week. You will need to consider different roles, such as cooking, serving, taking payment. That will tell you how many staff you need to recruit.

Then think about how much you will need to pay them. Again, this depends on whether you will be running a single roadside stall, or you will be overseeing a number of stalls which your staff manage for you.

If this is a new venture I suggest you begin with one stall and be very hands- on yourself, expanding once you have a good model in place with firm costings. Then you will know exactly what you need from staff.

Will you pay a fixed daily or hourly price, or will you incentivise them with a payment structure that rewards their effort?

Once you have worked out how much your staff will cost, ( don’t forget to include any taxes you must pay for them ) check out your costings to ensure you have priced the product competitively but have allowed for staff costs, equipment, ingredients etc and still make enough to pay yourself, and for there to be a profit eventually.

At the beginning, you must allow for the fact that you are building a business, and have incurred setup costs, so it may be hard to show a profit very early on.

As for actual payment, this will depend on practice in your region. Do people expect to be paid in cash, or into a bank. What about taxes.? You may need to talk to an accountant in your area, or perhaps look for a payroll company who will be able to advise you on payroll matters, and maybe even handle the payroll for you, much more cheaply than an accountant.

Managing staff in a small business is largely a matter of common sense. Management is defined as “achieving things through other people “. Plan what needs to be done, accept you can’t do it all yourself, and so delegate the other tasks to your staff, making sure they understand exactly how you want things to be done.

If you start small with a single stall, and work hands-on at first, you will soon see what needs to be done, and where you need someone else to do it. Employ good people, explain what you want, communicate well, and treat staff as you would like to be treated.

The very best of luck