Industry: Barista Wage Calculator

Friday, 21 June, 2019

SCASA, Ciro Coffee Academy and Coffee Magazine are collaborating to launch an Industry-first tool that assists Baristas, Employers, Managers and Owners in the Coffee Industry to fairly negotiate a Living Wage for employees considering The National Minimum Wage, Experience and Qualifications.

Introduction – The Barista Wage Calculator (BWC)

The Barista Wage Calculator or BWC will be a tool, based on the World-Renowned Living Wage Calculator, which was conceptualized, developed, coded and implemented by Code4South Africa and Open Data Durban, two South African tech companies that has received world-wide acclaim in the tech space for this tool to assist Domestic Workers and their Employers allocate a Living Wage –  Code4South Africa is a non-profit civic technology initiative that uses data and technology to promote informed decision-making that drives social change.

Fulfilling a need for SCASA, The Coffee Industry, Ciro Coffee Academy and Coffee Magazine.

The sensitive topic of wages, salaries, experience and value to a coffee shop, café or roastery is ongoing on social media and wherever baristas and coffee professionals gather. Business owners, employers and staff need to have some kind of tool to establish, not only what an employee in their coffee business ought to earn based on their qualifications and experience, but also what is a livable wage based on the employees actual circumstances.

The Barista Wage Calculator will be a tool that SCASA can use to address this huge challenge in our Industry. This fulfils the mandate of the Association as outlined in SCASA’s mission statement. (


How does it work?

The BWC will be an independent website and app, that will allow all who work in the Coffee Industry to input their Experience, Qualifications and their Living Requirements and obtain a result. The data, technology, algorithms and easy User Interface will be an accurate, easy-to-use tool for all.

Why is this important to me as an employer or a barista?

This collaboration between Ciro Coffee Academy, SCASA and Coffee Magazine is significant in that the BWC will place an emphasis on baristas striving to contuinually undergo formal training and gain certification  -  not just the many independently run courses at local Roasteries and Training Centers, but the Global Unit Standards as set out by the SCA. These courses are now available in South Africa (where previously one would have to travel overseas to receive training and certification) and they help to establish a global benchmark in barista, brewing, roasting, sensory skills and green coffee.  Just like in any profession, as one becomes more qualified and gains more experience, remuneration generally increases. So the BWC aims firstly to create a matrix that users will quickly and easily be able to input their qualifications (no matter how rudimentary) and experience, and see what they ought to earn.

Whjat are the next steps?

SCASA, Ciro and Coffee Magazine will be sending out surveys to as many people in the industry as possible in the coming weeks. The concept of the BWC is going to be workshopped at Creative Coffee Week in June 2019, at the SCASA Regional Coffee Competitions between now and the end of the year and all stakeholders in the coffee industry are encouraged to give input in order to create the best possible tool for our industry.

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