Money may not necessarily make your all of your food truck employees happy. But offering competitive wages to your staff may allow you to attract and retain the best talent. As an employee, competitive wages means the pay offered by a potential employer is reasonable based on your qualifications and the industry.

It makes sense that employees expect to be paid what they consider is fair. It’s often difficult for food truck owners to determine fair, competitive wages so their employees don’t continually feel under-paid. Determining fair pay requires that you develop and follow a strategy.

How To Create Competitive Wages In Your Food Truck Business

Keep an eye on the competition

Start your employee pay research by comparing of similar jobs in your geographic area. It doesn’t have to be a scientific study or involve a great deal of time or money. Survey temporary services, employment agencies and want ads to get an idea of what food trucks and quick service restaurants in your marketplace are paying.

You can then offer starting employees the same pay rate, and for higher level employees, use market comparisons as your starting point. This is the same type of research candidates do during a job search, so knowing what the market is paying can help.

Make pay incremental

Hiring and training your employees can be lengthy and costly for a food truck. It is best to focus on retention when considering the cost of hiring. One effective way to keep new employees invested in your company is to start them off at the low-end of the pay scale, but give increases after 90 days, six months and a year.

These incremental increases in pay during the first year will drive employees to prove themselves and give their best effort all year long.

Reward productivity

Use production value of an employee rather than seniority when determining wages. Don’t give raises just because someone has worked for you a long time, instead, give performance raises. While many employees tend to focus on competitive wages across the board, it helps if you explain that some positions in your food truck have wage ceilings.

Watch your bottom line

Offering competitive wages while keeping track of your food truck’s financial health is a delicate balancing act. Is the financial health of your food truck precarious? Then you may have to pay more than market for better employees based on the idea that maybe your financial problems are the result of less than capable employees.

Whatever you decide to pay your food truck employees, keep in mind that you may not want to compensate them more than the job is worth to you. Salaries are business expenses. They’re investments that should offer your mobile food business good returns.

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Think beyond pay

Competitive wages are certainly a component to a happy workforce, but they are not the only factor. Create a positive work environment with employees who are informed by ownership about the state of the business, and they will be much more accommodating and accepting when wages have to be reduced during tough times.

RELATED: Give Your Employees A Basic Food Truck Economics Class

The Bottom Line

Being a popular small business can be an advantage for food truck vendors. You will likely attract potential employees looking for something beyond the corporate structure. Offering something as simple as a special title can go a long way. Do what you can to make new or current staff members happy.

What are competitive wages for food truck employees in your area? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below or on social media. Facebook | Twitter