- A North Carolina restaurant chain has hiked wages by 15% to retain its staff, per the WSJ.
- Famous Toastery’s president said rivals had often tried to poach staff by offering $2 extra an hour.
- The restaurant has bumped up the prices of some of its meals to cover the pay rises.
A restaurant chain in North Carolina has increased workers’ salaries by 15% in an attempt to retain staff, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Famous Toastery, which is located in Charlotte and serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch, has hiked wages quicker than it has ever done previously, according to its president Mike Sebazco.
“We didn’t want to be as easy to poach,” Sebazco told the Journal.
Managers from other restaurants have been known to visit Famous Toastery and tell the staff to join their companies for an additional $2 an hour, Sebazco said in the interview with the Journal.
The wage increase of 15%, compared with the same period last year, applied across eight of Famous Toastery’s restaurants, Sebazco added.
Famous Toastery raised the prices on its menu in August to help cover the pay rises, Sebazco told the publication. The restaurant’s omelet, containing cheese, peppers, onions, and ham was one of the items on the menu which got more expensive, per Sebazco.
“Bacon and eggs and a lot of produce items will go up and down, and you can weather that,” Sebazco told the Journal. “We’ve never really experienced labor increases such as this.”
Famous Toastery didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The Journal reported on how US companies were offering larger raises to employees who remained in their job. Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, cited in the report, showed workers who stayed in their role saw their wages jump by 5.5% in November from a year earlier.
This rapid salary growth is considered a contributing factor to inflation because companies can pass on the increased costs to the consumer.
Restaurants across America, including McDonald’s and Chipotle, bumped up salaries last year to lure in new workers amid a labor shortage. One pizza chain franchisee told Insider he had asked his general managers to poach staff from rival restaurants as “everything is fair game.”