Incentive program

OK…creampuff ( Dine-O-Mite Pizza & Eatery) new kid on the block, opening shop in 2 weeks ( I have been saying this for the last 4 weeks, but I really mean it this time, May 1st is my deadline) & everyone’s post and opinions have helped me so very much. This should probably be the least of my thoughts, however, I am wondering what you’all think of this idea and how you handle employees meals & drinks. I am not wanting to give food & beverages away to my employees, only because I think it might be taken advantage of especially beverages. Just so you know, I am not a cheap person, I just feel that if I give it to them, it leaves the door open for waste. So, my thought is to use this as an incentive program. I am asking for opinions on offering beverages at say. $0.25 a 20 oz cup & somewhere in the area of $3.00 a day for meals from employees. What I would like to do is use the money the employees contribute as either a weekly or monthy bonus plan for the top worker ( or perhaps 3 workers) of the week or month. Does anyone do this, is it a good idea, or should I just scratch it?

BTW - I know this is probably hard to follow…anyone of you that have started from ground -0 total renovation with zip experience of setting up a kitchen and dining area will probably understand my lack of making this sound like it is in any sort of understandable order, muchless spelling errors and finally having a drink & playing pool with my burnt out wounderful jack of all trades husband tonight.

Hey Nick - I have been meaning to call and chat with you… ever since I got back from Jersey…it’s been non-stop trying to get open. Hope the invitation is still open for someday.

Holly Cannoli…This has been one awesome, scary, and exciting experience. I wouldn’t trade it for almost anything :lol:

Ok, I’m done babbling,


Best Wishes for a great opening.

The way I handle staff food and drink is 50% off right before during or right after the shift and 30% off all other times. Staff may buy food for 2 people at their discount while not working.

I give my employees “dinner” before the rush, as much as they want, plus food after the rush, as much as they want. They are allowed to bring home 1 free pizza a week for every year of employment (so 1 a week for the first year, 2 for the second, etc.), and 50% off when they are not working. They can drink as much as they like from the fountain. None of their perks, or discounts are transferable to anyone else. I’m very generous to my employees in this regard because they work ridiculously hard for me and this is a relatively cheap way of thanking them. Besides, I don’t want to have to keep track of how much “Johnny” has had to drink during the night, I have more important things to do. If an employee is going to be wasteful with his or her free drinks, than they are probably wasteful in many ways and I don’t want them. Another point, I’ve lost track of how many customers I have that are family or friends of old employees who got hooked on the pizza.

I’m not a big fan of bonuses for line staff, I prefer to give my top people consistent raises. The big problems, in my experience, are that the people who don’t get them feel unappreciated, and the ones who do get them begin to expect them, then if they don’t get them feel slighted. The culture of my business is; you do the job you were hired for, at the wage you were quoted, as well as you can. If you can do that you keep your job, if you can’t you are gone. If you exceed my expectations (and your peers’ performance) you get more money. I tell all new hires that there is only one way to go with me, either up or out. I give them every tool they need to succeed; continuous training, realistic goals, mentors and clearly defined expectations. I also give opportunity to improve before I move them out. I have very low turnover (I generally know a minimum of six months before someone leaves, barring tragedy), so I’m confident in my system. My managers receive handsome bonuses because they are responsible for the work of others, which is a whole different skill-set and set of responsibilities.

Sorry for the long winded post

I answer when the phone rigs :slight_smile: Call when you can.

We offer food allowance during shift of $8.75 value. That covers a medium pepperoni pizza or 15 wings for our big guys. Off shift, or over that amount, we give a 10% discount. I keep trying to get 25% put in place, but wife and I disagree on doing that large a discount . . . different philosophies. We do ask they limit their ordering of low-margin items like chicken fingers and brand new food items. They do a really good job and appreciate it a lot. They often take their food allowance worth of pizza home after shift to share with family.

My senior cook who has been with me since we opened gets free reign on food during and after shifts. He has NEVER taken advantage and almost always asks if it is okay to make himself a XXXX. That won’t be the case everyone we hire (and hasn’t been with others). Some have even sneaked food off to friends when they order (put 15 wings in a 10 wing order, etc). All in all, it is a way to give employee incentives without spending big cash out of till.

We do 50% off all food items anytime they want, wings and soda(we have bottles) are regular price.

Well said Thunderman

Free Fountain drinks and food while working. 50% off any other time. I’m not too strict in regards to what they order off the clock at that discount either. I’m there all the time and I’m running one store. Most of the time the crew just splits a pizza, sandwich or just whips something small up for themselves. Free food, leftover slices or waster, is not to be taken home – otherwise, mistakes and leftover pizza seems to happen more. I think we have pretty good people and an established culture of not taking advantage. I would not be so open with multiple stores because this “would” get out of control easy.

When two stores come into being it will be a food allowance during work, 50% off the clock – up to one pizza in value. I don’t think I want to be too strict with the off-the-clock discount because it introduces our food to more people. However, I would be more restrictive in regards to dining situations at busy times. You don’t want 50% orders taking away from your regular customers.

Just remember that anything you do to build employee moral comes back to you many times over the food costs you are paying…

Thanks to all of you that have responded, given great ideas and feedback, All of you are fantastic!!!

Another thing I do for my kids which they really like is to get them food from other businesses in town. I have developed a network of places to “trade” with. We pay each other with our own gift cards or gift certificates. So a couple of times a week we’ll get lunch from some place else. I used to have about 20 restaurants in the network but I cut out all the chains so I’m down to about 5. I will now only deal with owners directly, I don’t want to encourage anyone to steal from their employer (which I believe was happening at the chains). The best part about it for me is some of the places I trade with give my gift cards to their employees as incentives, so I get exposure to potential new customers. I would do the same thing but my kids pretty much eat everything up at work.