Bloomberg Businessweek: This Pizza Pays a Living Wage

By Elizabeth G Dunn
Bloomberg, September 10, 2019

Michael Lastoria, chief executive officer of &Pizza, a Washington, D.C.-based chain with 36 locations up and down the East Coast, is tall, slim, and serene, with a full beard and brown hair that falls past his shoulders. ...

What Lastoria does want to talk about to anyone who will listen is his ambition to turn &Pizza into the most progressive fast-food employer in the nation. That starts with pay: Store employees, whom the company calls “tribe members,” are among the best-paid fast-food workers in the nation. At &Pizza the mean hourly wage is $14, compared with an industry average of $9.84, according to the market research firm TDn2K. The company uses input from tribe members to inform everything from store music choices to uniform fabrics to the decision to pay extra for late-night shifts.

So far, Lastoria says, the approach is working. A recent store opening in Washington drew 1,000 job applications ...

Ever since co-founding &Pizza, Lastoria has devoted himself to advocating for legislation to raise the minimum wage, speaking at rallies, and lending his name to such efforts as Fight for $15, a group begun by fast-food workers, and Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a network of business owners and executives. He’s twice appeared on the Senate floor in support of raising the wage and helped lead a successful campaign for a $15 minimum in the District of Columbia, which passed in 2016. D.C.’s mayor signed the bill into law in front of an &Pizza. ...

Read more

Copyright 2019 Bloomberg Businessweek

 

Share +