As restaurant operators continue to shift their strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not just digital engagement, delivery and food safety that’s changing drastically. Checker’s and Rally’s — the double drive-thru chain where sales have been up in the double digits, despite a slow start in the spring — has announced new initiatives to boost workforce hiring and retention, including accredited high school diploma and English program benefits that target lower income or immigrant workers.
Between these new benefits and a training program that encourages employees to move up the ladder of success, Checker’s & Rally’s senior vice president Marna Killian is hoping to attract store employees in a quickly changing workforce.
“What has been the biggest impact is finding staffing for the restaurants, because of the labor market right now,” Killian said. “It’s not necessarily that our people leaving for that reason but it dwindles the candidate pool because people see that they can make more sitting at home vs going out and working. It makes staffing a little bit difficult.”
To incentivize staffers, Checker’s & Rally’s prioritized a 15-point safety plan for employees, as well as putting extra “hero pay” and sick leave pay for employees during the height of the pandemic. More recently, however, the Tampa, Fla.-based burger chain has turned its attention to incentivizing employees to stay in the long-term.
“I’m a big believer at looking at the entire employee experience […] so people feel good about working with you because that makes the decision as to whether or not they stay in the job,” Killian said. “[…] We estimate the majority of our team members do not have high school degrees and to be able to offer this program to them in the test pilot, they really sunk into it and it was a great selling point to attract talent.”
Learn more about the employee incentive programs at Checker’s & Rally’s in the video below.