- Chipotle launched a crew bonus program that gives hourly employees the opportunity to earn up to an extra month's pay annually, according to a press release.
- To qualify for the quarterly program, restaurant teams must meet specified goals, such as predetermined sales, cashflow, and throughput. Restaurants on track to receive their first bonus, which is a week of pay, will be notified following the close of the second quarter in July.
- The bonus program and its existing annual crew bonus is available to staff based on tenure and a minimum of one year of service. Additional benefits available to employees include a free Chipotle meal per shift, free English as a second language classes for employees and their family members, tuition reimbursement up to $5,250 each year and dental, vision and medical insurance.
Given the labor shortage in the restaurant industry and low unemployment, QSRs are going above and beyond to retain the employees they do get. From educational programs and tuition reimbursement to career advancement courses, QSRs are offering more perks than they have in the past.
"At Chipotle, we're not only looking to compete for the industry's best, we're looking to keep the industry's best," Chipotle Chief People Officer Marissa Andrada said in a statement.
Chipotle certainly isn’t alone in this sentiment. Shake Shack has been testing a four-day work week for managers after rolling out an equity program. Sweetgreen added a five-month paid parental leave policy, which is unheard of in the restaurant industry. A Philadelphia restaurateur even offers a 401(k) program.
Employee retention is becoming even more of an issue, especially among chains like Shake Shack that are growing at a steady clip, but need managers and qualified staff to run new restaurants. McDonald's has been struggling keeping restaurants properly staffed, which has been partially to blame for its slower drive-thru times.
Restaurants have also been trying to improve the overall working environment focusing in on better harassment training and diversity hiring. McDonald's, in particular, is under pressure from Democratic lawmakers to do more to combat sexual harassment. These improvements could be enough to attract more labor, but an ongoing fight over minimum wage, and growing support among consumers, could put more QSRs in the limelight to raise wages.