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A Look at Top Restaurant Employee Job Benefits

A Look at Top Restaurant Employee Job Benefits

Jenny Day

Jenny Day

In Restaurant365’s State of the Industry Survey, 38% of respondents said recruiting and retaining staff was their primary challenge. One trend that we have seen lately is that more top employers are offering competitive employee benefits to help with employee retention.

Does the restaurant industry offer good employee benefits?

For the most part, the restaurant industry lags behind many others in employee benefits. According to Mployer, the restaurant industry is lagging behind national averages when it comes to providing employee benefits. Take a look at these stats:

What percentage of restaurant and bar employers offer medical insurance?

  • 35% offer access to medical insurance. This is well under the national average of 69%.
  • These businesses provide an average monthly employer premium of $1,076 for family coverage. This is below the national average of $1,121.
  • Additionally, they provide an average monthly employer premium of $467 for individual coverage. This is above the national average of $458.

What percentage of restaurant and bar employers offer short and/or long-term disability insurance?

  • 16% of these employers offer short-term disability coverage and 4% offer long-term disability insurance. The national average is 42% and 34%, respectively.

What percentage of restaurant and bar employers offer life insurance?

  • 19% offer access to a life insurance plan. Comparatively, the national average is 56%.

Do restaurant and bar employers provide access to paid family leave?

  • 9% provide access to paid family leave. The national average is 20%.
  • 79% provide access to unpaid family leave. The national average is 88%.
  • 35% offer consolidated leave plans. The national average is 44%.

Many operators have already jumped on the benefits bandwagon. Below are a few examples of the top benefits some major chains* are offering to their hourly employees to aid in employee recruiting and retention.

What can be done to improve employee benefits in the restaurant industry?

Many operators have already jumped on the benefits bandwagon. Below are a few examples of the top benefits a few major chains are offering to their hourly employees to aid in employee recruiting and retention.

Whataburger Employee Benefits

According to their website, Whataburger offers the benefits below to qualifying employees:

Medical insurance

Eligible family members can elect coverage under one of Whataburger’s medical plan options.  They have the option of extending coverage to cover your spouse and other child dependents.

Dental insurance

Whataburger offers multiple dental plan options to eligible Family Members.

Vision insurance

They offer a vision insurance plan that provides exam coverage, corrective eyewear allowance, and other extras.

Weekly pay

The compensation plan is competitive and built around performance. All Family Members are paid each week.

Performance for pay/incentive programs

Top performers have an opportunity for recognition and financial reward. Managers and Operating Partners are also eligible for a monthly incentive program based on restaurant performance.

Hourly holiday bonus

Family Members may receive a holiday bonus based on their eligibility and length of service with the company. Team Leaders are eligible for this program.

401(K) savings plan

Whataburger offers a competitive 401(k) Savings Plan with discretionary added benefits:

  • A $0.30 match to every dollar contributed for up to 6% of pay
  • A potential annual Profit Sharing contribution

GUIDE

Hiring and Retaining Restaurant Staff

Hopdoddy Burger Bar Employee Benefits

According to their website, Hopdoddy Burger Bar offers the benefits below to qualifying employees:

Career development

Hopdoddy’s extensive TM to GM training program provides the skills that can take your career to the next level.

PTO and paid sick leave

Full-time employees are eligible for PTO and paid sick leave. Note that where applicable by state, paid sick leave is available and in place of PTO for all team members.

Health benefits

Health, Vision, and Dental options are available to full-timers starting at $1/day.

Employee assistance

From their Employee Assistance Program to the Hopdoddy Love Fund, resources are available to help provide employees with support, care, and assistance.

Parental leave

After 1 year of service, full-timers have access to Paternal & Maternal leave for birth or adoption.

Employee discount

Hopdoddy provides 50% off for the employee and a friend when they visit the restaurant as a guest.

Chipotle Employee Benefits

According to their website, Chipotle offers the benefits below to qualifying employees:

Quarterly bonuses

Employees who work hard to ensure the restaurant maintains peak performance are eligible for a bonus equal to one week’s pay. If they keep it up all year, they receive one additional month of pay.

Education assistance

Students can get up to $5,250 each year toward education goals, plus their celebrated Debt-Free Degree program.

Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance

All crew members are eligible for the Anthem Preventive Plus, Delta Dental PPO plan, and EyeMed PPO vision plan.

Paid time off

There are two types: vacation and sick time. Accrue up to 40 vacation hours a year and get 24 hours of sick time, depending on your state’s sick leave laws. Vacation accrues starting after 1 year of service.

Assistance programs

Employees and their dependents can speak with licensed counselors for free. It’s a free, 24/7 service—and it’s completely confidential.

401(K) retirement savings

Eligible employees can earn up to 4% salary-based matching contributions to their 401(k).

Free Chipotle

As a Chipotle crew member, you will receive one free meal for every daily shift. That means one entrée, one drink, and one side.

In addition to these great perks, hourly employees also enjoy a few additional benefits such as free healthcare advocacy, stock purchase plans, free uniforms, gym membership discounts, and more.

Cost-effective restaurant employee benefits

Due to razor-thin margins in the restaurant industry, employee benefits are often off the table. If you are not in a position to compete with the benefits that major brands can offer, there are still a few perks that can improve employee satisfaction and engagement that are cost-effective. A few of them include:

Flexible pay

Like many people, several restaurant workers live paycheck to paycheck, and getting paid once every two weeks isn’t an ideal situation. Offering same-day pay allows operators to pay employees the day-of, instead of every two weeks. This perk doesn’t just make for happier employees but is a great way to set yourself apart from a competitive market to attract and retain top talent.

Work/life balance

Creating a predictable schedule costs basically nothing to the operator but allows employees to better balance their work life and home life. A set schedule along with the autonomy of employees being able to swap shifts, pick up shifts, or request changes as needed gives employees more freedom to make important choices needed for their peace of mind.

Team Building

Consider hosting casual, inexpensive social events. When employees see you are taking your workplace culture seriously, they will feel more valued and engaged.

Employee rewards

Offering cash incentives, free meals, or first station closed privileges for excellent performance such as no workplace accidents, fewest absences, or highest sales offers a source of friendly competition that leads to increased engagement.

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