Local favorites P. Terry's are profiled in the Daily Beast today, for their decent employment practices in light of recent fast food workers' protests. The article highlights their higher than average wages, with an average of more than $11/hour, as well as their commitment to quality ingredients, making P. Terry's "anti-fast food."
Eater spoke with owner Patrick Terry this week about their commitment to their employees. Terry and his wife Kathy started P. Terry's after reading Fast Food Nation. Instead of rejecting the whole fast food model, they took inspiration from the good examples sprinkled throughout the book. "Granted, the bar was pretty low. But that doesn't mean you can't jump really high over it." In terms of employment, this amounts to paying "nowhere near minimum wage," offering clear paths to promotion, and treating their workers "like family."
From the start, the Terry's rejected the national chains' practice of "almost encouraging turnover so they don't have to deal with raises," and instead established a clear pay scale. Employees earn $8.50/hour during their training period, "and the minute you catch on" their wages rise to $9. Regular raises continue from there. Bonuses are also tied to longevity, and Terry reports that several employees who have been there for eight years will receive "over a thousand dollars in bonuses." The Terry's implemented the bonus system after their employees "didn't want" their healthcare plan, either because existing clinics were a better option or they were teenagers on their parents' healthcare. They've been waiting on Obamacare, but now that the law is in effect, they expect to be offering health insurance in the future.
P. Terry's also offers employees interest-free emergency loans for up to $500, because "nothing is worse than feeling trapped," and Kathy Terry bakes every employee a birthday cake, even though the company now employs over 320 people. "Last Tuesday, we had four cakes." When asked if he thought national chains could use this model, Terry responded, "If you can make this model work with a dozen stores, you could do it nationally."
Except, perhaps, the cakes.
· Don't Flip Out, Some Burger Chains Actually Pay Pretty Well [Daily Beast]
· All P. Terry's Coverage[-EATX-]