Do you love renting out your photo booths for events, seeing guests light up when their string of silly photos print, and cementing memories forever in ink? We sat down with our friend and user, Nick Muzzatti, from Snap! Entertainment, to discuss what strategies he’s used to determine the payment structure for his photo booth attendants, who help guests remember their favorite moments!
How do you pay your photo booth rental attendants? Why?
I pay my attendants hourly. It’s just the most fair way to do it. The amount of time they work varies by event, and we want to make sure that everyone is paid equitably.
You just can’t achieve that by paying a flat rate per event.
Do you use bonuses to motivate your attendants to prioritize certain aspects of their job?
While we’d like to be able to use bonuses to motivate our attendants, we haven’t been able to find a way to effectively use them.
Our attendants are already motivated and more than able to do their job above and beyond with their hourly wages at the moment, so bonuses are not necessary for us right now.
When it comes to paying attendants, are there any general industry standards? Do you follow them? Why or why not?
I’m not sure that there are any real industry standards, at least when it comes to paying photo booth attendants. Each company seems to find a different method that works best for them based on the structure of their business.
One thing that I see fairly often is that companies that strictly do photo booths pay their attendants more than companies that do other things and just offer photo booths as an additional service item. Usually they’ll have separate rates for events as opposed to setup or delivery time, which can get pretty complicated.
Assuming you have adjusted your approach over time through trial and error, what is the story behind your payment structure? What challenges have you had to work around?
We used to do a flat rate for events, which we’ve obviously moved away from. As things got busier and hours started to change, paying a flat rate got too confusing. Flat rates had to be different depending on the type of event, and it became difficult for me and my employees to keep track of it all.
We ended up switching to an hourly rate because it was more simple and equitable. In retrospect, I think it was a really good decision for us.
We pay our employees a competitive wage and want to take care of them, which is why paying hourly is the best choice of payment plan for our line of work to ensure our employees are being paid for the work they are doing.
Are there any ways you wish your payment structure was different?
I wish we could simply 1099 attendants and contract our attendants for individual events. That would give us a ton of flexibility.
In general though, I wish I could pay my guys more. You get what you pay for with photo booth attendants, and I wish I could offer a higher wage to get the best staff and really keep them motivated.
I’m happy with what we offer now, and I think my employees are too, but it would be great if there was more money for everyone.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give for anyone starting a photo booth business, specifically those wondering what their payment structure should look like?
The first thing you should do is take a look around at what your competitors are paying. If you spend all your time looking at your expenses and trying to figure out your payment structure that way, you won’t position yourself properly in the marketplace.
If your competitors pay $15 per hour, and you can pay up to $20 per hour, you might as well just pay $17 or $18 per hour so you still get that advantage without burning through your budget.
On the other hand, if your competitors pay $15 per hour, and you can only pay $12 per hour, you’ll know that you need to change some things up in your budget so you can offer a competitive wage.
Some companies really try to hide what they pay their employees so that you can’t base your wage off theirs, so you should also go into a photo booth Facebook group and see what other people pay their attendants there.
You should really check out Facebook groups regardless, actually. People offer so much free information there, and you can get a lot of great tips by just asking questions.
As we have learned from Nick, a lot goes into running a photo booth rental company, from deciding which payment plan to pick, the trial and error of finding the perfect payment structure, and more. Do you have any additional insight or advice on the photo booth industry and what payment structure you prefer? Reach out to us on social media or chat with us right here on pro.goodshuffle.com!