Employee Discounts

I was wondering as to what discounts you give your employees? I currently give them 30% off when they are working whether they pay cash or charge it to their paycheck. If they are off the clock I only give them the 30% if they pay in cash, if they charge it they get no discount at all. Would it be unreasonable of me to reduce the discount to 20% in light of slower days & less money coming in the door?

Thanks 8)

I give 50% while working and they can charge, 30% not working and no charging, Your employees are an asset you don’t want to lose so I wouldn’t cheap out on them. As long as you cover your costs what are you losing?

Our employee discount is set at 50% at all time. Different discount for soda, however.

In my pizzeria days I used to give a food credit for each hour worked…They could use it their pleasure…It was my pre POS days so it was a little hard to track but it was popular…

Pizza is a low paying work environment. Cost of living is high.

OK, I’m gonna shout…

DON’T MAKE MONEY ON YOUR EMPLOYEES FOOD!!! It is small time thinking and the employees know it.

A good deal on food is a benefit you can give them that costs you NOTHING!! and is an offset for the wages this industry can provide.

Our deal: Pizza and salad is free on-shift. Eat as much as you want, but not during rush. They may not take any free pizza home under any circumstances.

Off shift for pizza and all the time for appetizers, ice cream etc, the price is 50% off. Cans of soda are 25 cents.

Come on guys. What is it worth to you to be seen as a good employer? or conversly, what is it worth to you not to be seen as a cheapskate?

What he said. We give staff a credit each shift to use as a meal . . . $8.75 . . . and 10% off anything else they get. Water and tea for free on shift. I am considering 50% off shift food.

During their shift our employees can have a small sub. They pay for their sodas. I used to allow free soda but got tired of finding half full bottles everywhere. Depending on the employee, when they come in I either give them the food or charge 50%. My employees never count on it fir free.

while working slices & fountain soda free, most of the rest of the menu is 50% off…can/bottled soda & desserts full price.
$5 max discount on any food taking home

I agree with many of the posts about not losing your discount and truthfully speaking, 30% is not a huge discount. One thing that I experienced in my many years of restaurant experience was that business grew or shrank almost always because of the staff we had. A happy staff makes for happy customers and makes for good word of mouth.

One thing I remember doing in the restraunt was a 50% discount on food. This food had to be eaten in the building and could not be taken home. It had to be eaten by the employee and was not to be shared with non-employees. This detered some from ordering period, but more importantly it stopped someone from ordering food for 8 and taking it home. It also forced friends of employees to come in and purchase something to eat while they waited for their friend. Sometime it was just a beverage, but sometimes it was a full meal.

I absolutely agree that employees are the most valuable asset in any shop and should be given a good discount. A word of caution though for those doing FREE. If you do not charge your employees for their food…at least something… then the government considers it part of their pay and wants its tax money. If audited, they can go back and estimate the value of meals over the last several years (i think 3) and tax you on that.

Key is not during rush :slight_smile:
Off shift 50% off.

I think it depends on what type of operation you have. Some businesses are run as one big happy family; others are run as I’m the employer you’re the employee and we don’t mix. You work for me I pay you end of storey. But no matter what type of business you run, employee discounts are a very cost effective way to give a benefit to your employees.

We give 50% off while working. Limited to medium or smaller pizza, subs, pasta, salad, apps. (not wings) They are charged 25 cents per day worked for unlimited soda, tea, coffee.

No discount off clock but they can get any special we have. (like a lunch special or whatever)

Free food after a year…one meal per shift excludes wings and large pizza.

If they work a double they get one free meal.


I agree totally with bodegahwy on this one.

Whilst working they get a staff meal, two topping personal sized pizza or something a little more for those working longer.

If they want anything else (on or off the clock) its 50% off. Some restriction (carry out only and only for their personal use). I don’t discount ice cream.

Its an employee benefit and something a little extra with other (non-food) shops recruiting for the same people can’t compete with.

I get 50% off and free soda/water.

Heck, get creative and make it a progressive benefit based on seniority and performance reviews. You could get new employee getting 25% off eating at shop . . . all the way to a 5-year, high end guy getting any large pizza per shift, and maybe even groceries at cost plus tax. It could be an enticement to get them past that 90 days or 6 months in high performance.

Or not.

In that case, why not have a daily sales goal. If they hit the sales goal, then they get “the item of the day free”. If not they get a % off of the food item…perhaps the same % by which they missed the sales goal. Win-Win situation for you and them. It will indoctrine the fact that if employees produce more, they will get more.

I remember my younger days working in a bar. On slow nights I would pick up the phone and dial all my friends to come down. Soon the bar would be busy and if you know anything about the restaurant/bar business; busy breeds busy. A full parking lot invites more people to join the fun.

Employees get a free personal pizza, and a drink each shift. No further discounts, am I making a mistake with that? Should I be giving them a discount off shift as well? As a bonus introduce it, or seeing as they are happy leave it alone? If i gave them a 50% discount off shift, I know I would see them buying more often, and maybe making their friends buy here as well, hmmmmm well. Maybe I answered my own question eh?

Gt, the tax law is a littlemore complex than that. Free food is not a taxable benefit IF the food is provided for the benefit and convenience of the business. Check with your accountant.

My take woud be that if I don’t provide a meal, my employees need a break where they leave the premises to eat which is not convenient for ME the owner. Hence the free meal is for my benefit, not thiers and is not taxable.

As long as you are showing some sales to employees (enter an employee discount in your POS as a coupon and the POS will track this for you) you are going to be fine.


I think you will find that employees don’t order a lot of pizza off shift after the first month or so. At least my employees are tired of pizza and rarely if ever order. Again, giving them 50% costs you nothing in the end and is perceived as a benefit. It makes you into a “good guy”.

We give everyone a shift meal if they work more than 6 hours, and 50% off when they come which includes one family member. My employees know about food cost so they don’t hammer me with my 2$ Black Angus burgers. They eat chicken wraps and stuff. Oh on another note, if I give them a free meal on long shifts they tend not to graze LOL! Kids are kids, and the occasional fry here and there add up, and there’s always a chance a guest will see them. They know my rules about grazing but, inevitably they still do it when I’m not looking I’m sure, so when i give them a free meal, in my opinion they do it less out of respect for my generosity.

Depending on how hard the states look for tax money, it my be a good move to charge a pittance for employee meals, even if you pay it yourself. A few years ago the state of Maine went after Subway after realizing that free meals were taxable under their sales tax plan. .


Stupid? Yes, but hard to argue with anyway because the government makes the rules.