Is staff-free the new direction?

Is staff-free the new direction?

The storefront of Wolki Butchery; there are burglar bars over the windows and the door is closed (staff-free)

For small businesses around the country, the cost of living is making staying open harder and harder. But, for one sustainable farmer in regional New South Wales, the solution has presented itself: go staff-free.

Jacob Wolki, the owner of Wolki Farm, which sells out of a butchery called Wolk Butchery in Albury, NSW, made the decision to go staff-free two years ago. He explains his decision and how the idea works in practice in a TikTok video that has since gone viral.

The butchery is never closed. Even with no one around to manage it or keep it open, the storefront remains open 24/7/365.

“Customers get their unique pin code once they sign up to be a member. Once they enter their code, they gain access to the storefront,” Jacob said in the TikTok.

“This is open 24/7, 365 days, and all of this meat we grow on our regenerative farm 10 kilometres up the road.”

Customers are able to purchase products via an app that they can use to scan barcodes before paying for the products via whichever method takes their fancy—including Bitcoin!

So, could this be the future of small business? As the cost of living continues to increase, as do shortages of staff, making the decision to go staff-free could prove viable for many. Jacob says that there has been no theft in the two years that Wolki Butchery has been operating this way and that turnover has been good.

In conversation with, Jacob said, “We’ve been running this model for two years now. We’re doing around $3,000 in revenue a week, and in two years we’ve had zero theft and zero shrinkage.”

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