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Wage watchers: how much does a chip shop owner earn?
Chip shop owner Sandy Siebens, 38, from Puurs talks about what she earns and how she spends it.
What do you do for a living?
I’ve owned a chip shop with my husband for 17 years. We originally took over the chip van where we’d eat every week. It wasn’t very practical though – you’re never home. So we bought a house and transformed downstairs into a chippy, allowing us to live above our business. This way it’s easier for us to combine work with looking after our three children. We share the workload in the chip shop, but at the end of the day you have to able to do everything. I deal with the orders and the deliveries – and I can cook chips too, of course!
Do you enjoy your work?
It’s an enjoyable job. I particularly like chatting with the customers (except at really busy times). People always have great stories to tell and I enjoy listening to them. Especially when you hear the same story first from the mother, followed a bit later by the daughter’s version.
How many hours a week do you work?
We’re closed on Wednesday and Thursday. In the past we would only close one day a week, but because we now have three children, we take two days off. We’re open from 11.30 until 13.30 and from 16.30 until 23.00. We also used to be open until 2.00 in the morning at weekends but we’ve stopped doing that. You’d end up with drunkards lying on the floor.
What do you think of your salary?
I take home on average €3,500 a month after tax. I’ve always been able to do what I wanted to do, so I’m satisfied with what I earn.
Do you save?
We have recently invested some more in the house and the business, so in effect that is our kitty.
Are you more careful with your money because of the crisis?
We haven’t felt any negative repercussions from the economic crisis yet, so no is the short answer. If anything, it’s the roadworks that cause problems. We also have regular offers. We print out colour leaflets once a year, which we put in people’s letterboxes. We’ve also invested in a special extractor fan which recovers heat. Round our way, we’ve been mentioned in all the papers, which is good advertising for us. And then we give away free chips every September 17 – the anniversary of the opening of the chippy.
What do you gladly pay for?
Anything that makes my children happy.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Just carry on working – maybe a bit less, but I’d still work. Idle hands are the devil’s tools.