Papa John’s International, Inc. announced Thursday that they will be investing $2.5 million in new hiring, referral, and appreciation bonuses for store employees at company-owned restaurants in 2021 in recognition of their hard work during the challenging months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Louisville-, Ky.-based pizza chain is offering $50 in referral bonuses (and $50 for each additional employee added to the team) and up to $400 in appreciation bonuses “to be paid in increments throughout the year” to its 14,000 corporate store employees. Corporate stores only comprise of approximately 18% of domestic Papa John’s restaurants.
“The incredible hard work and commitment of our team members, which powered Papa John’s tremendous performance and transformation over the past 18 months, is just as important to our sustained long-term growth,” Papa John’s CEO Rob Lynch said in a statement. “Similar to programs being offered by our franchisees, these new bonuses for our team members in our corporate restaurants and QCCs reflect the value we place on growing, retaining and supporting our dedicated team.”
Lynch also said that they have made permanent the expanded benefits rolled out during the pandemic, including expanded health and wellness programs, paid time off and college tuition benefits.
These bonuses have been announced just over six months after Papa John’s offered year-end bonuses at the end of 2020, with $2.5 million set aside for corporate team members and supply chain employees.
In the wake of continued industry-wide labor challenges, Papa John’s is certainly not the only chain to offer hiring and retention bonuses to incentivize new and pre-existing employees. Darden Restaurants announced in March that they would be offering $17 million in bonuses and raising their hourly pay floor. In April, Chipotle began offering free college tuition programs to incentivize employees.
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