A Small Take Away Shop Earns What a Year before Tax? You'll Be Surprised!

I recently started a bit of UberEats driving and getting to know some of the owners very well, the most stand out one is a small Asian Take Away shop which purely rely on UberEats, DoorDash etc and he said the times are so tough he now makes less than $100k a year after all expenses before tax, this seems like a reasonable amount until he told me how many hours he work per week, 12 hours a day for 7 days.

I was shocked to see the work he putting in and not earning that much, works out to be around $22.89 an hour no superannuation included…………….

Does anyone know a small takeaway shop earns decent money or owns one or knows someone who has one and like to share their story?


  • +3

    70% of people want their own business. The other 30% want out of theirs.

    • +6

      Owning a business is like a boat. You only have 2 happy days. The day you buy it and the day you sell it.

  • Sounds like selective numbers to me. I suspect he is referring to his income personally as opposed to gross takings. My little shop which literally breaks even plus a couple of grand has a turnover of well over a million. Old mate turning over less than 2k per week/ $285 a day would be in serious, serious trouble. That’s like 10-15 meals a day.

  • -1

    thats his fault for being take-away only

  • Is that his profit or his turnover? I have found many small business owners conflate the two things.

    • EBT

  • +1

    The net profit margin for most restaurants are very slim (usually 5-10%). That why they are very sensitive to expense price movements. It actually gets even lower for Michelin star restaurants (3-5%)

  • +1

    Such amaze! Much wow!

  • What's the business worth?

  • what were you expecting? small businesses do it tough

  • +1

    Long hours, no weekends, no holidays, rent increase each year, dealing with greedy agent for arranged bloat up commercial insurance etc……
    ATO monitors your utilities bill to work out anomoly with trade average
    Definately not for everyone

  • Knock Shops are where the money is

  • +3

    Thanks for posting OP, we can certainly take away a good lesson from that.

    One of my friends worked in IT and was making great money, then one day said he and his wife are going to chuck in their IT and industrial chemist jobs to buy a bakery about 8 years ago. They have since said it was the best decision they ever made, and is so rewarding to be working together and has great income, despite the 2 or 3 am starts. They are doing really well and you can really see it, even their health. Such a big lifestyle change but I'm really happy for them.

    They say the biggest problem is finding good workers and this is the interesting part. They have developed a very dim view of \western' Aussie people who they find to be very lazy and don't last long and waste a lot of time, whereas people from other countries put their heads down and work really hard.

    But having said that, one of the biggest challenges in the current climate is that their staff are kind of exploiting the fact they cannot find additional workers at the moment who want to work in this type of job, so their staff are turning up late, breaking off early and doing whatever they want with little challenge, because they know management can't get rid of them. So it's a great machine but very fragile and my friend just puts up with it hoping it will change for the better long term.

    This problem would be widespread through a number of industries.

    • +2

      Seems to be a couple of quite contradictory claims there -

      They have developed a very dim view of \western' Aussie people who they find to be very lazy and don't last long and waste a lot of time, whereas people from other countries put their heads down and work really hard.

      their staff are kind of exploiting the fact they cannot find additional workers at the moment who want to work in this type of job, so their staff are turning up late, breaking off early and doing whatever they want

  • Small takeaway shops use to be fantastic earners and a lot still are but rent increases, competition and people having a lot more choices of food has made a impact.

  • -1

    Do those expenses include the owners partners wage? Must be at least $100k and their two kids earning $50k each.

    Anyone can spin a sob story.

  • yeah, it's tough

    this is why if a take out shop ever takes over the phone delivery orders OR have their own website equipped for it i almost always order it this way. Usually it ends up being cheaper for me, but the store tends to earn more for it aswell….The amount that ubereats, doordash etc earn off of their restaurants is just ridiculous, that's why you usually see prices inflated on those services compared to the restaurants actual menu.

    • But would they get the exposure though?

      • probably not, but that's why they can have multiple platforms. I.e. their delivery app accounts, but then also their own websites & number.

        I do agree that the exposure from these apps are important, but the amount they charge the restaurants per transaction is simply ridiculous, If you want to get something to eat for $15, its taking a serious sum of money out of the restaurants pocket. Also, the impact to the delivery app vs the impact to the take away shop is very different when ordering via the app vs the website.

        The app (like uber eats) will be fine, they earn that much on quantity with minimal overheads that there will be no difference. The take away shop will literally mean the owner (who's also likely working at the restaurant) may have their pay halved or doubled in that week.

  • +1

    Small food businesses profit margin is very very low. Yet you see arseholes on reddit complaining about paying extra for tomato.

    • -1

      Having mutiple small businesses add up…

  • It was a while ago, but I owned a take away store (mostly fish and chips style) for a few months. Bought a failing business, turned it around fast but hated the food business so flipped it on.

    The margins are relatively high (or at least were then). 80% markup on food (not the chips) was common. It mostly depends on the fixed costs, turnover and wages. What striked me odd was the price difference between low quality and high quality food supply wasn't that much. So many operators went the cheap and ordinary quality route, saving 10-20%. I never understood why they often didn't go the quality and charge a little more and usually end up with a higher margin in the end.

    • All depends on hoq much leg qork thry do.

      Of the buainesses i know for example, both turnover the same, but one clears double + the other.

      Ie: one goes to the fruit matket and wholesale butcher everyday and cuts and pre cooks their own chips, burger patties etc. the other buys frozen. Also does Halal Snack Packs which sell for $20 and cost $4 to produce. They sell nearly 50 of these everyday.

  • holy shittoe

  • +2

    Lol….the reward of owning a F&B business in Australia is extremely low. The only benefit is probably the cash and some low paid workers to reap off. Coming from Malaysia, owning a F&B business back in my country can achieve a much higher return rate and salary in relative to that of Australia if we don't consider forex.

    Australia is a worker's heaven. Most restaurant owners can't even earn triple of their work colleague despite all the extra risk and effort they put into.

  • So why do they solely do takeaway?

    • Not enough people and also, cant afford to pay more people to service the dining ins was told

  • The recent franchise scandals were more shocking. Casuals often made more than the owners, and some owners worked for nothing to avoid losing their investment. Very tragic but hopefully better now.

  • +1

    I own a take away shop, had it for 18 years, we open 3 hours a night 7 days a week and no we dont get many holidays nor do I earn 100K a year lol

    We are struggling and I really do not understand what other businesses do to make so much easy money, and yes I think it would be better and less stressful to get a job…

    Online deliveries are sucking the life out of most shops I think as 30% is (sometimes) more than the profit, Yes I use them but I have higher prices to make up some of the fees.

    • The busiest places I see tend to offer something you can't get nearby, something niche or trendy, or they specialise in one thing even (my favourite place is one that pretty much only sells AMAZING schnitzel sandwiches with a bunch of fillings to choose from and it has a line out the door every minute they are open). Fish and chips, indian food, thai food etc is so heavily saturated in my area for instance it makes it extremely hard to stand out :/

  • we open 3 hours a night 7 days a week

    Not sure if that means you only open 3 hours per night but…

    We are struggling and I really do not understand what other businesses do to make so much easy money

    Maybe they open a few more hours than you appear to?

    • +1

      Not worth opening the door if there are no customers unfortunately

      • Maybe that's the main problem. Do you know why you have no customers?

  • +1

    I guess there’s a lot we don’t know about the example you provided.

    Is the small business owned by a trust whereby distribution gets spread around beneficiaries with reduced taxation liabilities (I’d be surprised if it isn’t). This may also help with assessable income for the purposes of government benefits.

    Are fellow family members employed and working or just ‘employed’ for $20k pa?

    What ‘business’ expenses are also home expenses? Eg, food?

  • Before tax = after tax in these cases though.

  • +1

    It might not seem much, but his expenses could include a mortgage on his premises and vehicle. He could also sell the business at some point. He could also make a bit more cash, hire someone to work in the business and work significantly less and still make money. It isn't all bad.

    I know a few fish n chip shop owners in towns 10k population. They make about 200k a year. Hard slog but they also get all the above as I mentioned. Also never pay for much food either.

  • +1

    Why would they make more? They're in a highly competitive business with no barriers to entry and no skills required other than scheduling and counting money. Anything of true value add to the business like chef is hired and probably makes less than 100k. The shop owner is lucky to make that because he is basically a check out clerk most of the day.

  • Not surprised and no that is not even remotely a reasonable amount given the risk and work required.

  • But you get free lunch

  • It all depends, my friend put $80k in to a kebab shop just as an equity partner, didn't work a minute in the shop. After a few years his cut was $70k/year and he ended up selling his share for half a mil.

    • It wasn't a kebab shop. It was cocaine.

    • Which city please?

      • Sydney, in the West near a major train station.

        • ah makes sense, good location

  • wait am i the only one who thinks 100k profit is pretty damn good? most get a 4y degree work 12hr days climb the corporate ladder, gets much less than 100k and get taxed 35% of that and use the remaining to buy car, pay rent what not. Small business owners can get that cash in hand, pay piss all tax, claim car as a business expense, rent as a business expense, anything & everything you do can be claimed as a business expense. Uber, groceries, bills, TV, entertainment, netflix even, seriously.. I would say getting 4y bachelor degree climbing the rat race is less value for money.

    • 100k, then 27.5% tax for company.
      Or personal income tax, usually divide into couple, which is less than $44k per person over 4.4k hours.

      Less than $10 per hour.

    • Should have been a tradie, mate. We don't value STEM degrees anymore and selling coal (and contributing to climate change) is put on a higher pedestal than developing vaccines and green energy.

    • +1

      wait am i the only one who thinks 100k profit is pretty damn good?

      most get a 4y degree work 12hr days climb the corporate ladder, gets much less than 100k and get taxed 35%

      So you're comparing 100k profit in your first statement to 100k gross in your second. ??????? lol

      I would say getting 4y bachelor degree climbing the rat race is less value for money.

      So you think working in an office is 12 hours a day but owning a small business is what….less?

      There's so many problems with your thought process dude.

      • -2

        whats wrong with comparing 100k profit from small business vs 100k salary?

        12hrs a day in corporate is compariable to 12hrs a day working in a small business you own.

        • 7 days a week without Super, Sick Pay, Holiday Pay and Annual Leave?

        • +1

          12hrs a day in corporate is compariable to 12hrs a day working in a small business you own.


          Sorry, you've clearly never owned a business or have any real world experience if you think 12 hours in an office is comparable to owning a business. Hint: It's not even close.

          You finish your job at the end of the day and go home, forget about the work, and come back the next day. Maybe you'll take a sick leave day because you're got the sniffles, or take a week off on holiday. You can't do that in a small business. you're working 24/7 on your business, dealing with suppliers, advertising, bills, tax, falling sales, competitors coming in. Not. Even. Close.

          whats wrong with comparing 100k profit from small business vs 100k salary?

          For starters a salary of $100k ex super is $74k take home but you also get sick leave, annual leave etc.

          • +1

            @dchurch1: If you structure right you get to lease/instantly write off your cars, phones, bills, computers and almost anything you like through the business entity, which at the end of the day pays a flat 25% tax. If you receive cash, that instantly can get used to pay your own council rates, private school fees, luxury watches or overseas vacations which completely bybass the ATO and any forms of tax.

            Tell that to the PAYG employee who has access to no meaningful ways of reducing tax, at the top 45% marginal tax rate, who as to pay for everything with post-tax funds.

            I think doing a few hours of payroll, BAS, advertising management, resources management vs the massive financial upside is still well worth it for running a small business. If successful, at the end of your working life you can sell off the business for a large chunk of cash too. Meanwhile the PAYG employee gets paid super but it's dropping at $10K a year thanks to super funds :)

          • +1

            @dchurch1: honestly, if you climb the corporate ladder high enough, the work involved inside and out of working hours is comparable if not more than that of a small business owner. up to you if u want to believe it or not.

          • @dchurch1: If the small business owner takes leave then they get leave. It all depends on their business doesn't it. A mowing dude has heaps of opportunity in winter, a tax guy can find time when it's not EOY, one partner might cover a fast food joint in a slow month. At my mechanic the apprentices do all the work while the owner/mechanic sits in his office all day reading car classifieds and complaining about being busy. Go into any mall and you'll find half the shops and food joints staffed by teenagers and the owners no-where to be found.

    • It depends. If the owner is doing actual work and paying themselves actual salary based on equivalent work, then the profit or loss should be calculated after salary considerations.

      If the owner does absolutely nothing and the business is run by staff separately and there is a 100k profit would be pretty decent unless the profit was something like 1% ROI based on the original outlay

  • 1st, he may be telling you the truth but that's not the point. The point is money may not be important to him. He just does it because he loves it.

    2nd, he and/or hiss family doesn't have a grocery bill, be it 20 or 30k or more a year. Don't you think that is not income? If he manages to save 30k in grocery bill through his shop, that's 40-50k of your income. How much does he earn now compared to you?

    • -1

      ATO already considers certain percentage of stock for personal use.

      Not using it, is actually a loss.

      • +1

        Can you link to that determination as all I can find is that it is treated as income for the business.


          • @Vater Woods: All that shows is that there is an amount that can be used in place of actual record keeping.
            Nowhere does it state that it would be a loss if not accounted for.
            It is specifically stated to be accounted for as income for the business - it is not an expense or deduction.

            From the link I posted above -


            John runs a grocery store. At the end of each week, he takes food from his grocery store for his wife and three children.

            John records the value of these goods and reports the amount as income in his business accounts. His records include:

            the date
            a description of what was taken
            the reason stock was taken
            the cost or market value of the item (excluding GST).

            • @Grunntt: Maybe if you take the time to read through point 1 to 6, not just stuck to your own narrative.

              I get thousands deducted t every year, which I can't claim cost as stock.

              Which means there is tax on those amount depend on how you accounting for it.

              Even if you absolutely take nothing(which anyone would doubt), you would have to risk audit with ATO going through your bookkeeping and records. Which not many people would want.

              Ot you just take it and use it, since it already determined by ATO you roughly use that amount.

              • @Vater Woods:

                Maybe if you take the time to read through point 1 to 6, not just stuck to your own narrative.

                Just because I actually read what is contained in both of those linked pages somehow gives me some sort of narrative?

                I asked if anyone could link to a determination that shows stock taken for private use is a deduction - both of those links specify that it is to be treated as income for the company.

                I get thousands deducted t every year, which I can't claim cost as stock.

                Which means there is tax on those amount depend on how you accounting for it.

                If your understanding of ATO determinations is as clear as your explanation I think I'll just not bother asking you to clarify this question for me.
                Thanks for your version but it's not very clear. Will spend a bit more time on the ATO site I think.

    • +1

      How do you spend $30k on groceries are you eating lobsters and wine every night?

      • +1

        Groceries include laundry, cleaning stuff, baby formula, baby nappies, bunnings receipts etc. as well as fuel.

    • True about the grocery bill, must be little to none. In regards to earnings, I am on around $95k a year working from home with 1 day at the shop for another job. Which I consider not a bad income compared to how much I was earning, which is $50k and I have to go to the store everyday 20mins early to sort out the stuffs not been sorted day before and also expected to stay behind everyday to close up. Made the jump and now happily in the job but one thing i do find is the customer support role is very very repetitive and we are always judged on the number of calls we are getting. I dont see myself working this job for more than 3 years. Will look around once learnt the ins and outs of the role.

    • How can you spend $500 a week on groceries?!

      • Long time ago when I worked at the airport, a lady with 4 kids says she runs over $400 a week easy, so $500 is not impossible

  • -1

    he said the times are so tough he now makes less than $100k a year

    Did you notice the word “HE” in that. This is probably his salary he decided to pay himself as an employee of the take away shop. If he got partner, they could be earning similar amounts and who knows how much he contributes to his super through the shop. Are you surprised now?

    • I doubt he is talking his share of the business. As regards to super…………i think its even rarer……

  • Like every industry, there's variation across businesses.

    Not all take away shops are the same.

    I have relo's on my wife's side that ran takeaway shops in shopping centres. I don't know how much they earned in revenue, but they earned enough to pay $100-150K a year in rent to the shopping centre and support a mortgage (although they did buy their property ~15-20 years ago). They seem to be on par with a white collar working in living standards (apart from working 7 days a week).

    They were always one person working the shop as they didn't trust their staff anymore after incidences of stealing.

    They've retired now and walked away from their business after the shopping centre kept on raising rents. They didn't even sell the business as the shopping centre made it difficult for anyone to take over if they didn't have years of experience (i.e. they walked away from $100-200K sale - it just wasn't going to happen the way the shopping centre wanted).
    The male partner works as one of the head chefs in a popular asian restaurant and pulls in equivalent money for a lot less stress.

    • Didnt even sell? so the shop fitting just goes to the next customer? Thats a lot money wasted………….

      • quite often it is even worse than that, many Business rentals have "make good" in their contract so they have to return the building to how it was prior to occupation, costs many far more than the value of what selling the equipment etc gets.

        • Oh crap! That really would hurt to see and doing it yourself for extra money……………

          • @Aerith-Waifu: Yes - I think they decided that walking away was the best option. They did have a buyer lined up, but the Shopping Centre wasn't happy with their level of 'experience' (a young couple with limited history of business experience), and refused the sale.

            They didn't have to pay for the reverting the state -> we got rid of all the relevant fixtures pretty easily, and the next renter has to put in the $100-200K of rennovation costs.

            They were able to keep the shop open 6 months rent-free whilst the negotiations were happened, so it wasn't all loss, but yeah at some point they realised the shopping centre wanted 'perfect next tenants' and it was just eating into their retirement time, so they walked away (I mean they got 6 months rent free out of it and the income associated with that).

            • @wimphrel: Shopping Centre sux, they also require a refit every 5 years or something which eats up all the profit of a small operator.

              Why not open a shop in a smaller complex in resident area with local and lower rent? Or is it by then enough is enough so no more?

              • @Aerith-Waifu: I think the foot traffic is lower outside of a shopping centre - i.e. there was an advantage to shopping centres before the rent increases.

                They just had enough, close enough to retirement age, and get similar money working as a head/senior chef for popular asian restaurant (just rock up to work - don't have to stress about day 2 day running of a business)

  • +1

    im not really surprised…however im sure he pockets a fair bit of 'cash'

  • "$100k a year after all expenses before tax"

    With $100k, his tax is 28.4% but how much of that can be claimed as a tax deduction. He owns a business, I assume he can claim quite a lot to reduce the tax paid vs a normal employed worker.

    Also, I wonder if he claims his cash payments as well (I highly doubt it).

    • Dont know, but I was expecting earning alot high than 100k consider the hours they worked in. He says once his lease is up he will move on but I know for a certain he wont as he been there at least 10 years now.

      • Maybe other advantages though, grocery bill not high as can take food home, maybe no need to cook at home, those long hours are time spent with family, maybe some of it not so busy so socialising, listen to music read etc. No need for stay at home parent as one partner can leave to collect kids, maybe no long commute. I'm thinking of some small businesses where the business almost seems like an extension of the home, so the long hours aren't the same as isolated in an office etc. Also he is describing an income of $100K as 'when times are tough', so maybe not bad. What is it when times aren't tough. Small business is all about cycles of low business and high business. Heaps would describe summer months and Christmas months earnings as many times higher.

  • I'm guessing he's doing it wrong. Meant to make someone else work the long hours, pay them $30k and keep the $70k as profit from each of your many stores. Bonus points if you bring import people into country pay them $10k and make them sleep at back of store. Bonus bonus points if you can get them to tend the marijuana crop you have in a rented unit upstairs.

    • Then you need to times $30000 x 2, as there are 2 owners there all the time and no one is going to run it after 10pm, they open till 12am everyday, only time they close is on Christmas Day

  • Sometimes, it just doesn't make sense.
    We like to have resturant fried rice sometimes, and one of my local asian resturants sells it for $18. Fair enough. I've seen shop rents are $800 a week rent.
    Then we head up to Lithgow, where the fried rice is $8.
    I don't know how they survive…

    Remember when Vietnamese pork rolls for 4 for $10 in Cabramatta just a few years ago? They are underpricing themselves!

    • -1

      Mate in Cabra the money is made on volume, hence the low price, and 'cash' transactions

      • Even then, we don't know their true revenue vs expenses. Sure they may dodge tax with cash but it still surprises me how in that one strip in Cabra there are like 7 bubble tea places close to each other competing. I wonder how those places make money……

        • Bubble tea shps mainly rely on Easi(and other Chinese delivery platforms) , biggest and worst tax dogger of all delivery platforms, with their wechat pay, basically most transactions happen in China, while operating in Australia.

          And the cost of stock is ridiculous low(less than 10%) compared to other types(around 45%, currently ours is at 59% due to sharp price increases).

    • Volume? Lots of people buying at $8?

      • Have you been to Lithgow? There's no one around and the chinese resturants have decor from 1980. They have good chinese food though.

  • +1

    I just came back from a 5 hour delivery spell, made $159, not the best but on par. Now if you look at my pay vs the restaurant owners pay, I think I get paid much better without the stress of running a shop at $23 an hour,. I can stop whenever I want to and in fact while I am typing this, I am still waiting for orders as people order a lot of macs at around 1am.

    Really feeling for the small take away shops at the moment…………….. (I have not had one delivery from their shop tonight which is odd)

Login or Join to leave a comment