Can you afford Staff Benefits? – II

This is a continuation of the post Can you afford Staff Benefits. This edition will feature some of the top benefits in the restaurant industry.

What kind of Benefits have you received?

Some of the top restaurant benefits in North America are offered by Earl’s, The Cheesecake Factory and restaurant group, Darden Restaurants (i.e. Red Lobster, Oliver Garden).

Here is a list of some of their main benefits:

Supervisory / Management Position – Earl’s

Locations: Canada

  • Annual golf events
  • Conferences and meetings
  • Trips to New York, Amsterdam or Brussels (every second year)

General Manager – The Cheesecake Factory

Locations: United States and Hawaii

  • A company- leased BMW
  • Management Equity Program: no cash investment required, company-sponsored. General Managers can earn up to $1.5 million in the program
  • 5-day work week; 2 consecutive days off
  • Performance based stock options
  • 401(k) with company contribution
  • Health insurance, dental coverage, prescription plan and vision
  • Salary up to $125,000 per year

General Manager – Olive Garden (Darden Restaurants)

Locations: Canada and United States

  • Medical, dental and orthodontia and Vision coverage
  • Prescription drug program
  • Life & accident insurance
  • Paid vacation (1 week after 3 months of training)
  • Profit sharing savings plan / retirement program
  • 25% meal discount in any Darden Restaurant concept
  • 15% stock purchase discount
  • Access to network of qualified lawyers for legal advice
  • Employee assistance program
  • Student loan program
  • Childcare center discounts

These companies represent some the most generous benefits you can find within the restaurant industry. Few restaurants are able to match these benefits due to their size. However, all restaurants have the capability at some point in their operation to offer a benefit package. The question is: Are you willing to pay money to improve the quality of work and life of your restaurant?

I have worked in several restaurants and have received various benefits but nothing compared to the benefits listed above. I am curious to see what kind of unique staff benefits you have received in your past or current job?

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3 Responses to “Can you afford Staff Benefits? – II”

  1. Sherry Says:

    There is a small family-owned restaurant in my little town of Lexington, NC that pays over twice the minimum server wage to its wait staff and that’s just for starters. They are closed every Sunday and have paid holidays and vacations for every single employee, whether part-time or full-time. They also have paid health insurance for the full-time employees. Not surprisingly, there is almost no turnover, and they consistently have people standing in line to get inside. Their food, while good, is not outstanding compared to other restaurants in the area, but it is THE place to go when in the vicinity. Go figure.

  2. Sherxr Says:

    My restaurant pays me over and above minimum wage plus we get tronc (tips collected for each service). Every year we get bonus items like restaurant vouchers of 100 pounds and shopping vouchers of 250 pounds. End of the year we get x’mas gifts too.
    I’m not a full time chef at the kitchen but I’m sure loving all the benefits I’m getting! :)

    Have a great weekend!

  3. TheRestaurantBlogger Says:

    Hi Sherry, I have found that sometimes it is the smaller restaurants and family-owned that give more to the staff. In my experience, people sometimes associate larger companies with better benefits, but that is not always the case. I wsih companies only realized the benefit of offering some sort of benefit package. I am not surprised that the restaurant would have low turnover. There are not too many small family owned restaurants that would be that generous. Its always happy to hear of stories like that.

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