Hello! We are so happy that you're a part of the South Swell family and we can't wait to get to know you as we all grow together. We hold our beliefs and values in high regard so you'll need to know them intimately. We created this handbook to help you get started, Keep track of our key initiatives and most importantly, to make sure you always know your purpose here. It is the responsibility of every South Swell Employee to hold others accountable to everything in this handbook.

You should use this handbook in your first week and keep it handy as an on-going reference. As you grow with our business, you may have ideas on how to improve what's in here; please know that those ideas are always welcome.

So get ready and thanks again for joining South Swell!


The South Swell Team



What goes better with the sweet life in San Clemente than rad ice cream?

At South Swell, we are committed to creating a fun experience that will become a part of tradition for locals and tourists alike. It is our mission to provide customers with creative and delicious ice cream options in an environment that contributes to creating some of life's best moments.

We believe this mission is a worthy one. 

How do we carry out our mission?

South Swell does this not just by selling ice cream, but selling ice cream with an experience. Doing this brings more to the table than just ice cream. It brings a bright, clean, happy space with rotating menu options, one on one service, and a fun experience to watch and create. It brings positive involvement between the customer and South Swell in creating something both memorable and unique.


Our compasses

Who we are and what we believe

Our core values include: 


  • You communicate in a clear and concise manner because you value other people's time more than your own.

  • You use appropriate styles of communication to fit the audience and purpose.

  • You trust others and build other's trust in you.


  • You leave an impression of admiration, awe, and/or respect on others as a result of your work,

  • Your colleagues rave about the amazing results that you produce.

  • You are resourceful and formulate creative alternatives or solutions to resolve problems


  • You hold others accountable and question actions inconsistent with our values and principles.

  • You recognize when a conversation needs to happen and speak up, even if it's a difficult topic.

  • You embrace conflict and during one, you are hard on content and soft on people.

  • You ask dumb questions.

  • You are comfortable saying, "I don't know".


  • You are a delight to be around (most of the time).

  • You follow the golden rule.

  • You see the positive side of things while still being realistic.

  • You use humor as appropriate.

  • You avoid drama for drama's sake.


Our Guiding Principles



Change is good

 Things can always be improved upon. If you have ideas on how to improve our procedures or processes, please share with management. We are eager to hear your ideas! 

We believe there is a solution to every problem. If something isn't working, we do something about it, remembering, of course, that the team comes before any individual employee. If you don’t like what the present says about your future, change it!

General Information

How we do things around here


Harassment and Discrimination

Be respectful of others and follow the golden rule. South Swell does not tolerate bullying of any kind. Disrespectful behavior not in line with our values is grounds for discipline or immediate termination. 


You can take off your apron but you can't take off your face. Being part of the South Swell family will make you a recognizable part of the family and the San Clemente community. Be responsible with your social media posts and behavior in and outside of work. If you post something at work that includes another co-worker, please get their permission before posting. Use common sense, You are a representation of South Swell.


A locker located in the storage room is available to you to keep your personal items during your shift. You can take it upon yourself to bring a lock with you if you are concerned about your things. South Swell is not liable for any items missing from employees lockers. 


Our parking lot is located behind the building and is available for employees and customers of South Swell as well as our adjoining neighbors. All employees must use the back parking lot.

Parking is free.


We know that you are going to have friends and family coming through the shop and we welcome them as customers however, hanging out and socializing during your scheduled shift hours is not permitted at anytime. It is important that we keep the shop flowing and that you stay available so that we can serve our customers as well as stay busy doing your job.

If you decide to spend your break time with a friend, please have  them wait for you outside of the shop. There is a table and chairs located by the back entrance that you are welcome to use during break time. 

Please be aware of surrounding businesses with your volume and language. 


You are required to take a 10 minute rest break any shift that is 4 hours. This 10 minute break is typically taken in the middle of your shift. Any shift over 6 hour requires an unpaid 30 minute meal break. 

What to Wear 

Basically, always look on point.

Use good judgment. 

No short shorts, no profanity on clothing, and hands and nails looking clean and polish chip free at all times. Please no acrylic nails.

Always wear a clean apron. If your apron gets extremely dirty during your shift, please grab a spare apron located in the storage room. (Aprons are optional)

Saturday and Sunday shifts are required to wear a South Swell merch top (t shirt, sweatshirt, etc.)

Non skid, restaurant/work grade closed toed shoes are required. This is very important and you will be sent home to get them if you arrive at your shift in any other shoes.


All employees of South Swell must obtain their food handlers card after being hired/before beginning work at South Swell and serving food. Certification can be forwarded through email to your manager, Kristen. Email is Your food handlers card can be obtained at

Hiring, Performance and Progress

Being all that you can be


The Employee Lifecycle

All employment decisions, including recruiting, hiring, promotions and being asked to move on from South Swell, are based solely on merit and on demonstrating our business values. 

Decisions are not based on race, color, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or religion and all employment at South Swell is "at will."

Employee Referrals

Know someone that'd be awesome for a role at South Swell? We'd love to have them in the pipeline. Please remember that we hire based on our needs and merit, so don't be sad if your referral doesn't make the cut right away. Encourage them to keep trying!

Submit all of your referrals to Kristen. 


Employees will have their first review with their manager after 2 weeks of start date, followed by a formal 30-day review. Reviews after that point are done every 3 months. 

The content of your review will be to discuss performance and evaluate your position with South Swell.


We have two necessary conditions for promotion at South Swell:

  1. If a position is available.

  2. You need to be a superstar in your current role.

If you are interested in applying for a promotion, you should discuss it with your manager.


Your Time



You will receive your confirmed schedule via Home Base for the the Monday before for the following week.

Employees are expected to arrive ready to work, giving themselves at least 5 minutes prior to their shift to wash hands, grab apron, put personal items in locker, and clock in. 

Once shift is complete, employees are expected to be off property within 15 minutes of their shift ending. 

In respect to the South Swell Team, arriving to your shift on time is a must. Employees who are late risk termination. Communication is key. Employees that are no-show/no-call are immediately terminated. 


Employees are required to request days off no later than 2 weeks before the given day through the Homebase app. If your day has not been approved and is still pending by the 2 weeks prior, please confirm with your manager. If your request is denied, you will be expected to arrive at your scheduled shift. If employees are a no show, they risk termination.

Disciplinary Procedure

South Swell wishes to ensure high standards from its employees. The disciplinary procedure enables us to take appropriate action against you where your performance or conduct is unsatisfactory.

In order to ensure that you are treated fairly and consistently, South Swell will adopt the following procedure.

Verbal Correction

Verbal correction on the given matter will be communicated to you by your a management and followed by a written warning and probation if improvements are not shown.

Written Probation Period

A written probation notice will be given for the matters that require improvement. We give our employees the opportunity to focus on improvement in the areas we have outlined. We will meet to review progress at the end of the probation period and decide at that time if we will have you continue on with us.


Failure to pass probation period results in immediate dismissal.



South Swell celebrates these holidays as official days off:

  • Thanksgiving Day

  • Christmas Eve (close at 3pm)

  • Christmas

Make sure you communicate with your manager if you wish to take any additional days off around these holidays

All other holidays not listed employees should be expected to be scheduled unless other requests have been approved in advance.

Leaves of Absences

Bereavement: We know the death of a family member is a time when you want to be present to yourself and to your family. If you are a full-time or part-time employee and you lose a close relative, please take a few days to be with your family if you need it.

Jury Duty: Serving on a jury when summoned is an important duty for all US Citizens. If you are called for jury duty, notify your manager by email. Employees on jury duty will not receive payment for shifts missed.

Sick Time: Showing up to work healthy is an absolute must. With food handling, we expect our employees to be courteous to our customers as well as other team members. Please monitor your systems and contact a manager at least 8 hours prior to your shift if you suspect you are sick and will be missing work. When you return to work post-illness, please take extra precautions to keep South Swell germ-free.

Stay home when you have a fever (return only after fever is gone 24hrs), cough, congestion, or lack the energy to complete your shift. 

Requesting Shift Changes:

Any requests to change scheduled hours, must be submitted through Homebase and approved from a manager 3 days priors to the requested date. This request does not approve the change. It is only approved until you are notified by your manager. You can expect a response within 8 hrs. 

Disciplinary Actions/Causes for Dismissal:

South Swell was created with heart, soul, and deep connection with each other and our community. Any behavior outside of the South Swell's listed rules and values will result in disciplinary action and possible termination.



I hereby acknowledge receipt of the South Swell Ice Cream Employee Handbook. I understand that it is my continuing responsibility to read and know its contents. I also understand and agree that the Employee Handbook is not an employment contract for any specific period of employment or for continuing or long-term employment. Therefore, I acknowledge and understand that unless I have a written employment agreement with South Swell Ice Cream that provides otherwise, I have the right to resign from my employment with South Swell Ice Cream at any time with or
without notice and with or without cause, and that South Swell Ice Cream has the right to terminate my employment at any time with or without notice and with or without cause.

I have read, understand and agree to all of the above. I have also read and understand the South Swell Ice Cream Employee Handbook. 

By e-signing your name below, you acknowledge the South Swell Ice Cream Employee handbook.

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