Industry sector:

Ice cream parlour: Wages


Money that you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.

Staff duties

The duties that your staff will be required to do will depend on the nature of your business. You might need to employ people to carry out the following work:

  • make ice cream (if you plan to do this in-house)
  • monitor stock levels, choose and buy stock, receive deliveries
  • prepare ice cream dishes like sundaes, snacks, drinks or meals
  • serve customers, either at a counter/window or at their tables
  • wash dishes
  • clean the outlet - at the end of each trading session and possibly during trading, particularly at busy times
  • answer the telephone and keep the business records
  • make deliveries (if you have any trade and wholesale customers for home-made ice cream, you might well decide to offer a delivery service)

You may well find that you will have to take on extra staff in the busy summer months - and perhaps at weekends throughout the year.

The wages you pay your staff will depend to some extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Don't forget:

  • you could use a combination of full and part-time staff. You may need to employ part-time staff at weekends as these are usually busy
  • staff who handle food should have appropriate training in food hygiene and safety
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation that you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. You should also include here the cost of staff pensions.