Typical Roles at a Health Food Store

Employees at a health food store must be knowledgeable about the benefits of its products. You will need a manager, cashiers, and stock clerks to run this kind of store.

General Manager

This is the first role you’ll need to think about when building your team. In many cases, the business owner can act as his/her own general manager.

Typical Salary: $35,000 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Hiring and scheduling employees
  • Keeping track of inventory
  • Adhering to health and safety standards
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction  

Who to Look For:

  • Previous management experience
  • Able to manage customers’ complaints
  • Available for many shifts, as they are an integral part of everyday business

Cashier

Cashiers ring up customers’ purchases and often also bag the groceries for them.

Typical Salary: $9.20 per hour

What This Role Entails:

  • Charge customers
  • Accept coupons
  • Bag groceries
  • Know information about the sourcing of products (for example, is the produce local?)

Who to Look For:

  • Trustworthy (as they will be handling large amounts of cash)
  • No experience necessary

Stock Clerk

Stock clerks are responsible for receiving and organizing all of the store’s merchandise.

Typical Salary: $32,000 per year

What This Role Entails:

  • Unpacking merchandise
  • Arranging groceries
  • Keeping track of inventory

Who to Look For:

  • Able to lift heavy boxes
  • No experience necessary

Health Food Store Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

A health food store should be clean, well organized, and welcoming to members of the community. Early on, the business owner can fill a role such as manager or cashier, if needed. In a smaller store, the manager can also serve as the cashier and maybe even stock clerk as well.

Look for employees that enjoy meeting customers and getting to know the regulars. They may also get to know local farmers who provide the produce and other food to be sold in the store. A good health food store brings the community together by providing local products.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

With the exception of a manager position, most health food store jobs do not require any particular skills or qualifications. Therefore, you can advertise anywhere in the area or online for your employees. However, keep in mind that if you have a very small store, you will only need one or two employees to start off with.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most health food store owners look for employees who are:

  • Reliable
  • Punctual
  • Friendly
  • Neat and organized
  • Enjoy healthy eating habits themselves

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • How flexible is your schedule?
  • Do you plan to eventually enter a management position?
  • How would you handle a customer complaint?
  • What does customer service mean to you?
  • What do you love about shopping at health food stores?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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