Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Baskin-Robbins

Imagine the most scorching, blistering, tarmac melting day of the summer. You're outside, perhaps running some sort of uninspired, insipid errand. Your body feels like it's melting away into a stew of clammy bits and bobs. But then, in the distance, you notice a beacon of hope: a Baskin-Robbins. You begin to move towards it, like a cartoon character being carried aloft by the delicious scent of a pie on a windowsill.

You then enter said Baskin-Robbins. It's air-conditioned. There's a server smiling pleasantly in your general direction. But most importantly, there are tubs upon tubs of scrummy ice cream flavors in front of you. In fact, there are almost too many bright, colorful tastes to choose from. Nevertheless, you somehow focus your steadily cooling brain to select your three favorite flavors. They're then stacked neatly in and on top of a waffle cone for your personal enjoyment. You nom into your chilled dessert, and the whole experience is 100 percent perfect.

Moments such as these can really make one's day all the better, if not their whole week or even a longer stretch of time. However, what's it like being on the other side of the Baskin-Robbins counter? Are the workers as relieved to be there as you are? What's it really like being the Baskin-Robbins employee that's serving you? Here's the lowdown on some of the real conditions working at this ice cream shop, from Baskin-Robbins workers themselves.

Working at Baskin-Robbins means a lot mopping

Scooping scoops of ice cream isn't the only job a worker does at Baskin-Robbins. As former Baskin-Robbins employee Kelly Allen states at Odyssey, there's also a copious amount of mopping that has to get done every day at one of these franchises, to the point where she called the task downright "brutal." One could assume this would be the case because portions of food could drop on the floor, customers might trace grime in on their shoes, and other messes could happen in such an environment. After all, ice cream, delicious as it is, can be really, really sticky. And who wants to order their ice cream from a shop with a disconcertingly sticky floor?

And Allen isn't the only person who's mentioned that moping is an important and seemingly endless part of the job. Another Baskin-Robbins worker told Job Applications Canada that they were expected to routinely clean their employer's floors. This staff member said that they were "mopping the floor every single night because there's ice cream obviously on the floor and stuff."

So, if you're currently gunning to work at a Baskin-Robbins, just know that's not all free ice creams and happy customers (though there's a portion of that, too). You also have to do your fair share of mopping and, one assumes, other routine cleaning tasks. 

Scooping ice cream can be a workout

Doing the same action repeatedly can get old pretty fast, both for your brain and for the rest of your body. And as reported by Yahoo Finance, Barack Obama found this to be the case while he was working at Baskin-Robbins. That's right, former US President Barack Obama is also a former Baskin-Robbins ice cream scooper. His gig scooping ice cream at a Honolulu location was actually his first job. And, on Obama's 2016 Linkedin profile, he wrote that getting the Baskin-Robbins' ice cream out of its containers actually hurt his wrists.

It's worth noting that Obama isn't only the Baskin-Robbins employee who has said that scooping the ice cream there can be painful. Another worker once wrote to The Tendonitis Expert about how scooping a lot of ice cream on free ice cream day caused his wrists to be in pain. This person also noted that the soreness went away after taking a week off work, but then, unfortunately, came back to weeks later. The Tendonitis Expert stated that the worker's muscles likely became inflamed by scooping up too much ice cream in one go, leading to repetitive stress on their wrists and forearms.

There's not much room to advance your career at Baskin-Robbins

If you want to climb the corporate ladder, become a CEO, or simply have the sort of money that would finally satisfy an evil billionaire, then serving ice cream at Baskin-Robbins might not be the right gig for you. The truth is that, according ot How I Got My Job, quite a few Baskin-Robbins employees feel that there are not many opportunities to advance their respective careers at this chain. After all, if you work your way from being a scooper to a branch manager, how much higher could you possibly go in that particular store? And how would you break into the more lucrative corporate side of things, anyway?

However, How I Got My Job does note that Baskin-Robbins uses an internal promotions system, so it is possible to improve your salary and gain additional responsibilities at this joint. You just may need to be very, very persistent and patient. Furthermore, working at one of these stores can be a worthwhile entry-level job. Just make sure that you don't apply to one with the expectation that they'll immediately be throwing Elon Musk's ballooning salary into your bank account.

Some Baskin-Robbins customers can get abusive

If you were to start scooping ice cream for Baskin-Robbins, or really working any customer-facing job in the food industry, then you'll surely learn that not every customer will behave like a decent human being. For instance, the New Canaanite reported that, in 2016, a woman became furious at Baskin-Robbins workers because her ice cream was apparently too melted. This lady subsequently jumped the line to forcefully request a refund. The employees reportedly told her that they could remake the ice cream but couldn't return her money for the allegedly softened ice cream. The incensed customer then threw her ice cream over the counter and returned on another day to continue complaining. Oh, and it was part of a buy one, get one deal that cost the woman and her husband less than 10 dollars.

This sort of experience isn't necessarily a one-off. On Twitter, multiple accounts have claimed to have dealt with bad customers while working at Baskin-Robbins. One user claimed that they were upset because a customer which they'd assisted wasn't polite, and another expressed that they were over people being rude to them while they worked.

No one should ever be abused at their place of work and, of course, you should treat always your server or ice cream scooper with kindness and respect. But, from the employees' perspective, that sort of kindness isn't always guaranteed.

Scooping endless samples can get annoying

While eating ice cream can be a joyous experience, providing ice cream for others might get pretty old. That's especially so if the ice cream that you're giving out to others comes in those tiny pink spoons and you're doing it over and over again. At Odyssey, former Baskin-Robbins employee Kelly Allen recalled one incident where she became frustrated at one family of five for requesting a whopping and seemingly endless array of 20 samples. Allen asserted that doing this was bad customer etiquette — samples, it seems are more of a courtesy extended towards the customer than a strict right.

Now, you might be wondering why Allen didn't decline the rather absurd request of these patrons. But it seems as if Baskin-Robbins doesn't officially cap how many samples one can have. In 2019, Baskin-Robbins tweeted that it's more than fine to try all 31 of their flavors in one visit (a go-ahead that may have left employees cringing). Moreover, in 2010, they even outright asked if anyone has eaten an impressive amount of samples during a single outing. The best solution, at least from the employees' perspective? An extra helping of patience.

Your Baskin-Robbins salary can vary wildly

Okay, folks, it's time that we put on our math helmets because we're about to smash into some numbers. Numbers which are too low, according to some Baskin-Robbins employees, but these are numbers nonetheless. According to Indeed, the amount of money one can make at a Baskin-Robbins depends on the role that they occupy within a given shop, naturally enough. Ice cream scoopers earn an average rate of $8.94 per hour, ice cream makers $9.81, and cake decorators $14.28. If you were to become a store manager, you'd probably be getting a decent enough pay raise, at least compared to your ice cream scooping days, at around $15.81 for every hour you that worked. That's somewhat comparable to wages at other food spots like Wendy's, though it appears that ice cream rival Ben & Jerry's is a little more generous with its pay rates.

However, if you were to work for the more corporate side of Baskin-Robbins, your salary could be very different. For instance, Indeed reported being one of its mechanics would earn you around $77,781 per year, while the chain's web developers receive an average annual salary of $108,459. And what of the Baskin-Robbins' CEO? In 2015, Fortune said that Nigel Travis, the then-head of the company, made a far more lofty $5.4 million, at least compared to the grunts scooping ice cream and mopping the floors.

You might have to compete in an ice cream scoop race

As previously mentioned, excavating ice cream from a tub can be a burdensome time. So, how does Baskin-Robbins train its employees to deal with doing such labor? Well, according to Port Macquarie News, at least one Aussie store got its staff members prepped by holding ice cream scoop races. A franchise man named Beau Farrell made his employees speed scoop ice cream out of the chain's tubs. Farrell reportedly did this so that the store's workforce was ready for when the orders came flying in during the busiest times of the year.

It may sound exhausting from the employee perspective, but it appears that this training might be partly responsible for why the franchise did pretty well for itself in 2016. During the annual Baskin-Robbins awards for that year, this joint received two accolades. One of them was the Highest Comparison Growth award, and the other was the Highest Single Week Turnover Record in 2016 award.

So, if you end up working for a Baskin-Robbins, there's always the chance that you may have to participate in some ice cream scooping races. But don't fret. Doing so just might make the hectic summer months that much easier to get through (though watch out for the tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome nonetheless).

Baskin-Robbins workers can get free ice cream

Baskin-Robbins is pretty serious about the variety of their ice creams, to the point where it has over 30 different flavors listed on its website. They have classics like strawberry and vanilla, of course, and more out-there ones like the seasonally inspired egg nog or the more mysteriously named America's Birthday Cake. Customers might also find additional seasonal flavors in their local store, like the autumn-inspired Inside Out Apple Pie. But whether you're a fan of the original flavors, the new ones, or both, getting to snack on some of these ice creams for free might be an excellent time.

This brings us to what may be one of the best perks of working at Baskin-Robbins, at least so long as you have a sweet tooth. According to How I Got The Job, some Baskin-Robbins employees get to have ice cream from their location for free. For quite a few employees, this was a pretty serious benefit, given that it's hard to turn down free ice cream. However, How I Got The Job also mentioned that some stores might not offer their staff members these freebies as it really all up to a franchise manager's discretion. And, tasty as ice cream may very well be, a sugar-heavy diet isn't always the best for one's health, so hopefully that free ice cream is enjoyed in moderation.

The time of year dictates how busy things get

On Glassdoor, a former Baskin-Robbins employee outlined what they liked and disliked about working at this joint. This user claimed that they enjoyed working there during summer because the store was busy. This makes sense, right? If you're in the midst of some scorching, super hot holiday, then it's natural that you'll want to snag some ice cream and your local Baskin-Robbins will be packed. Nevertheless, the former ice cream scooper also claimed that work simply got too slow during the winter. After all, it makes sense that fewer people want to demolish three scoops of America's Birthday Cake when the weather's miserably cold than when the sun's blazing down on you.

When Job Applications Canada chatted with a current Baskin-Robbins worker, they were told much of the same. As the crew member stated, "It's kind of fast-paced depending on the time of the year, so look forward to that. But, there are also a lot of slow times." Yet, given all of the cleaning tasks associated with the store, chances are decent that workers aren't really all that idle, even in the dead of winter.

You may have to make up fresh tubs of ice cream

At some Baskin-Robbins locations, its customers can order either prepackaged tubs of ice creams or even some containers that are filled in-store with some freshly scooped ice cream. This begs a rather important question: Is there a difference in quality between the prepackaged and more immediately scooped ice creams? According to Odyssey, there actually isn't. Former Baskin-Robbins employee Kelly Allen stated that the joint's prepackaged and fresh tubs of ice cream are practically identical. In fact, they might even be made in the very same machine. Moreover, she noted that Baskin-Robbins workers typically dislike having to pack fresh ice cream into pints and quarts. Sure, it's part of the job, but it is yet more of that endless and, in this case, seemingly unnecessary scooping.

So, if you're ever ordering at a Baskin-Robbins, please remember that all those tubs are basically the same. That way, if one is a better price, you're in a position to snag up the cheaper option without any doubts bouncing around in your noggin. Or, if you wanted to be super-duper nice to those hard-working employees behind the counter, you could always just purchase the prepackaged containers of ice cream. After all, doing so might save a staff member from doing a perfunctory job that they could very well loathe.