Help! Interviewing A Possible Intern Tomorrow!

Business By jenmat Updated 1 Feb 2011 , 9:25pm by lacey88

jenmat Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 11:29pm
post #1 of 8

Ok, those of you with experience, help me get a bit of perspective on how this can work.

I have been approached by a young lady who is currently going to tech school for culinary arts. She is 18, still in high school, but going to the tech part time already. She has an art background, has worked at a local custard shop/grille, and has worked before with fondant/and gumpaste on the Cricut.

I was not prepared to hire someone this summer, but am open to it, so that I could be able to take more weddings.

We have been planning to raise our celebration prices dramatically and limit them to orders above $75-$100.

I am trying to put together a proposal so that I know what I can offer this young lady who is trying to pay for school and her vehicle.
My first proposal is she would be doing an unpaid internship until I feel she is of use to me- probably April-May. I would ask that she come to the bakery to train 1-2 days/week for a few hours at a time until I feel she can handle the work. If after April I don't feel she will work out, then I can cut her loose, and she would have some training under her belt in exchange for the time she put in. This part would not be washing dishes and scrubbing floors- the training would be actual design work.

If she DOES seem a good fit, this is where I am having a hard time. I know she has to be paid part time wages with payroll and everything (uggh). But I was thinking that if her skills are adequate, then is it possible to pay her less than min wage and a percent per cake, sort of like a waitress works for tips? Or is that too messy? I'm just not sure how to guarantee her a certain amount of money if I'm not guaranteed a certain amount of money, I mean I grossed 35k last year, its not like I'm rolling in it.

How do you treat your interns? How much do you pay and how is it paid? HELP!!!

7 replies
ritchie70 Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 4:04am
post #2 of 8

Minimum wage laws - both federal and state - can be really complicated.

Once you're paying her you can calculate her pay however you want - but you still have to wind up above minimum wage.

For example, 15 years ago I had some people who I paid either $7 an hour or 12.5% of their sales, whichever was higher. That way they got better than minimum wage, but still had an incentive to sell.

The deal with waitresses is that they are getting tips from the customers, and the minimum for them is such that their expected tips would get them past standard minimum wage.

There seem to be rules for commissioned sales people as well, but I doubt that really legitimately applies for your case.

The bottom line, really, is you need to investigate your state's laws. There's probably a state department of labor web site that will have minimum wage information.

bakingpw Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 4:16pm
post #3 of 8

It really does not sound to me that you should be hiring anyone. $35,000 Gross - how much was actual profit? Wouldn't you like to make more yourself? If you hire someone, you will take potential $ away from yourself/your family. I will add - especially for an intern who does not have experience.

Here's my rule of thumb for hiring: Can that person EARN their wages? In other words, if I am paying someone $10,000 they should be able to create enough product for $20,000. Employees should always cover their cost and bring you profit. If they can't do that, you will lose.

jason_kraft Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 5:42pm
post #4 of 8

I would recommend going the unpaid internship route...in this economy, relevant experience in your industry is very valuable. Don't forget that when you raise your prices your sales volume will decrease, so there should be less of a need for additional help.

Also, in most states you are required to have worker's comp insurance, even for an unpaid intern. We pay ~$600/year for WC on our unpaid intern in California, WI will probably be cheaper though.

jenmat Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 6:14pm
post #5 of 8

thanks all~
You're right, $35,000 isn't a lot of money. However I probably turned down almost $20,000 in business last year. That's still a small income, but would have made me a bit more and made someone else a part time income just fine. This is also without advertising. So the potential is there, but one person can only do so much!

I have offered her tutoring right now, with the possibility of more if she is amazing. She is aware that she will have a job offer by the end of April if I need her, which will give her the opportunity of finding summer work if I don't. At this point I am sticking to my original plan, which is to take weddings and major events vrs my sheet cakes and small rounds, which will be perfectly reasonable for one person to accomplish.

I looked at my policy and it does cover worker's comp, so we're good there.

jenmat Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 6:15pm
post #6 of 8

thanks all~
You're right, $35,000 isn't a lot of money. However I probably turned down almost $20,000 in business last year. That's still a small income, but would have made me a bit more and made someone else a part time income just fine. This is also without advertising. So the potential is there, but one person can only do so much!

I have offered her tutoring right now, with the possibility of more if she is amazing. She is aware that she will have a job offer by the end of April if I need her, which will give her the opportunity of finding summer work if I don't. At this point I am sticking to my original plan, which is to take weddings and major events vrs my sheet cakes and small rounds, which will be perfectly reasonable for one person to accomplish.

I looked at my policy and it does cover worker's comp, so we're good there.

jason_kraft Posted 31 Jan 2011 , 6:19pm
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

I looked at my policy and it does cover worker's comp, so we're good there.



Your business liability policy also covers WC? You don't need WC if you are the only employee (since you probably won't sue yourself), so you may want to have that coverage removed, no need to pay for something you will never use.

lacey88 Posted 1 Feb 2011 , 9:25pm
post #8 of 8

i have interned in several places. once for a vocational school. and once for college. my internship was paid during vocation school, and was unpaid for college.

being an unpaid intern sucks. but i did it because i really wanted to learn..... perhaps she can start out as an unpaid intern, and if things work out move her into a paid employee. just a thought icon_smile.gif

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