The Guardian: The US restaurants tackling staff shortages: ‘We have to pay more’

By Michael Sainato
The Guardian, June 9, 2021

Some employers are upending the industry standards by paying their employees better and offering stronger benefits

...  &Pizza, a pizza chain in six states and Washington DC, raised wages at the start of the pandemic and expanded benefits such as providing Election Day as a paid day off. Owner Michael Lastoria said the chain has opened 11 new locations through the pandemic, and had no trouble in hiring new workers at the chain’s starting wages beginning at $16 an hour.

“Higher wages lead to greater consumer spending and greater workforce productivity, things every company benefits from. Not to mention raising wages is the single clearest way to say to our workforce, ‘we value you’,” said Lastoria. “The pandemic highlighted issues that have been problems in the industry for decades, minimum wages, lack of benefits, dangerous working conditions, the cyclical nature of laying off and rehiring staff when it’s convenient for employers’ balance sheets. These problems are not new, but we need new solutions because clearly the status quo is not working.” ...

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