Companies across the US are offering workers perks for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s the running list.

covid vaccine card cdc
ICU nurse Megan Tschacher shows off her vaccination card at UC Health Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado on December 14, 2020. Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images

  • Workers across the US can receive extra pay from their employers for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Many front-line workers are now able to receive the vaccine in various states and localities.
  • So far, almost 34 million people have received one or more doses of the two-shot immunization.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Companies across the US are joining in the largest-ever vaccination effort by offering employees perks if they receive the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Receiving the vaccine is voluntary, but most companies have strongly encouraged employees get the immunization when it’s their turn. The two-dose vaccines, one from Pfizer and BioNtech and the other from Moderna, were emergency approved in the US in December. Since then, almost 34 million people have received one or more doses, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many states and localities have begun moving from the first phase of vaccinating health care workers and elderly living in long-term care facilities to immunizing front-line workers. With that, some companies are giving workers two to three hours of paid time off per dose received, and others are offering a stipend for employees who voluntarily get the shots when it’s their turn.

Recently, Publix, Petco and AT&T joined the growing list. Here’s the 18 Insider knows about so far:

Know of a company not on this list that’s offering employees time off, pay, or other perks to get vaccinated? Email Natasha, the reporter of this piece, at ndailey@insider.com.

1. Target

Target
Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Target is offering workers up to four hours of paid time off to get both shots of the vaccine and will pay for Lyft rides up to $15 for employees needing transportation to and from their appointment.

2. Dollar General

dollar general
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The discount chain was the first major retailer to announce an incentive for workers to get vaccinated. Dollar General employees can earn up to four hours of pay for receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and will receive extra time off if they have an adverse reaction.

Read more: What’s coming next for COVID-19 vaccines? Here’s the latest on 11 leading programs.

3. Darden Restaurants

olive garden
Patrons enter an Olive Garden Restaurant. Steve Helber/AP Photo

Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and The Capital Grille, will offer workers four hours of paid time off, two hours per dose, Bloomberg reported. Employees must show proof of their vaccination to earn the time. The company doesn’t require the shots, but strongly encouraged workers to get them.

4. Shake Shack

shake shack
Noam Galai/Getty Images

The burger-and-shake restaurant chain will give workers 3 hours of pay per shot of the two-dose vaccine. Shake Shack didn’t mandate employees receive the vaccine but “strongly encouraged” it.

5. Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company.
Noodles & Company.

Workers will earn up to four hours of paid time off for receiving the vaccine, the company said in a Feb. 10 statement to Insider. The restaurant strongly recommended employees receive the vaccine but did not require it.

6. Kroger

kroger
Kroger logo is seen at one of their stores in Athens, Ohio. Stephen Zenner/SOPA

The grocer is giving employees a one-time $100 payment for getting the vaccine. On top of that, Kroger said it would give associates an added bonus of a $100 store card and 1,000 fuel points to “thank and reward” workers during the pandemic.

7. Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe's.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The grocery retailer will offer all 50,000 employees two hours of pay per dose and allow for flexible scheduling so workers can make it to appointments.

8. Aldi

Aldi store shop
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

The German grocer will cover employee costs associated with receiving the vaccine and provide two hours of pay for each of the two doses received.

9. Instacart

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SOPA Images/Getty Images

The app will offer its US and Canada shoppers, who deliver groceries to customers, a $25 stipend to get vaccinated.

10. Lidl

lidl
Leonhard Foeger/File

The German grocery chain is encouraging workers to get vaccinated by offering its US workers $200 in extra pay if they receive the immunization.

11. McDonald’s

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

The fast food chain is giving workers four hours of pay for receiving the vaccine. Though getting the shots is not required, the company said it will connect employees with groups that can answer questions on the vaccination, Restaurant Business reported.

12. Starbucks

starbucks barista drinks
Richard Drew / AP Photo

The coffee chain is offering workers two hours of pay per dose of the COVID-19 vaccine they receive.

13. Chobani

Chobani Greek Yogurt
Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

Chobani will give workers up to six hours of pay, three per dose, for receiving the vaccine, Human Resource Executive reported.

14. Amtrak

Amtrak
AJ Packer/Shutterstock.com

Amtrak is allowing employees to get vaccinated during work hours, and will pay for two hours off if employees provide proof they received the shot. Workers will also be excused with pay for up to 48 hours if they have side effects.

15. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s

jbs meatpacking greely colorado
The JBS meatpacking facility in Greeley, Colo. Chet Strange for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The meat-packing company is offering employees a $100 bonus incentive if they receive the vaccine voluntarily.

16. Petco

petco groomers
Petco groomers. AP Photo/Richard Vogel

The pet-supply retailer told Insider it would offer employees a one-time payment of $75 for getting vaccinated. Plus, it will give a $25 donation to the Petco Partner Assistance Fund for each person who receives their shots.

17. AT&T

AT&T
People walk past the AT&T store in New York’s Times Square, June 17, 2015. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

AT&T is giving employees up to four hours of paid time off per dose, adding up to eight hours total for anyone who needs the hours to get the vaccine, a spokesperson said in an email to Insider. The company is also giving workers access to Castlight, a tool to help them find available vaccines in their area based on eligibility.

18. Publix

Publix grocery store night
Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Publix will give associates a $125 gift card to the store after they get both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Workers aren’t required to get the shots at Publix, but they will need to show proof of vaccination. The vaccine is optional, though encouraged, the company said.

19. Walmart and Sam’s Club

Walmart

Beginning May 18, Walmart and Sam’s Club will give its associates below the store manager level $75 for being fully vaccinated, the companies announced on May 14. Workers are required to show their vaccine card in order to receive this bonus.

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Restaurant chain Noodles and Company has doubled its digital sales in a year. Two of the company’s executives explain how they did it.

Noodles and Company
Noodles and Company doesn’t offer drive-thru, but has other collection methods.

  • Digital sales made up nearly two-thirds of Noodles and Company’s sales during the fourth quarter.
  • Two execs spoke to Insider about how it ramped up online revenues without relying on ghost kitchens.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Digital demand for Noodles and Company has rocketed over the course of the pandemic.

The Colorado-based fast-casual chain’s digital sales were up 128% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, and nearly two-thirds of all sales were made online.

Execs from the company told Insider it plans to use a mixture of ghost kitchens and franchise restaurants to dip its toe in new markets – but it’s not planning a major pivot to ghost kitchens any time soon.

Read more: Smashburger president lays out why the brand is looking for prime real estate, not ghost kitchen space

Before the pandemic started, Noodles, which has just over 450 restaurants, was already investing in technology because of the growing trend for off-premise consumption. But it accelerated this process after the US entered lockdown and digital demand boomed.

Drive-thru isn’t an option – but pick-up windows are

Because Noodles’ dishes typically take between four and six minutes to cook, traditional drive-thru isn’t an option for the chain, Carl Lukach, the company’s chief finance officer, told Insider.

Instead, it ramped up its rollout of pick-up sites, where customers place their orders in advance for collection either curbside or at a window.

Compared to dine-in and delivery, demand for pick-up was low before the pandemic – but quick pick-up locations are available at all restaurants, and they’re being used. In the 2020 financial year, Noodles’ digital sales more than doubled to $221.6 million, and more than half of this was order-ahead transactions.

As well as its pick-up windows, Noodles offers delivery through both a mix of aggregators and its own app and website.

Noodles and Company
Online orders made up nearly two-thirds of Noodles and Company’s fourth-quarter sales.

Noodles has used its loyalty program to attract customers to its own orderings channels, which allows the chain to collect more data on their order behavior and find out how to drive repurchase. Sales through its own app and website channels also bring higher margins for the company, Lukach said.

In comparison, third-party delivery aggregators can be expensive because they charge fees, Lukach said. But Noodles has countered this by charging a 15% premium on its prices for orders through third-party services, which offsets the fees and puts the margins in line with its own delivery channels, he said.

There has been a significant increase in orders through delivery services during the pandemic, Lukach said, and these are often new customers. Noodles aims to hook these customers and bring them onto its own channels. The aggregators were a net positive and a “good return on our investment,” Lukach added.

Noodles is using franchisees and ghost kitchens to enter new markets

Though the chain is expanding its digital offerings, it’s buying more real estate, too. It opened four new company-owned restaurants opened in 2020, and plans to open between 10 and 15 more in 2021, including a major push for franchise restaurants.

The company appointed John Ramsay as its first vice president of franchise sales in late 2020.

Noodles is using franchisees to enter new markets, while using corporate-owned restaurants in markets that it already knows well, John Ramsay told Insider. Having franchisees with local insight will give Noodles a “huge advantage” as it launches in the south and south-east, he added.

Noodles and Company
Noodles and Company plans to open between 10 and 15 new restaurants in 2021.

The chain has also signed leases to test two ghost kitchens, which cook food only for collection and delivery – one in an existing market and the other in a new market.

One of the kitchens is in Chicago, as the chain has its biggest presence in the Midwest and it knows the Chicago market well. This means there will be wide brand recognition in the site’s catchment area but the kitchen’s location in a more industrial area means it won’t cannibalize sales at other Noodles restaurants, Lukach said.

The kitchen will be predominantly delivery but customers will able to pick up orders, too.

The other ghost kitchen will be in San Jose, which is a new market for the chain. Lukach told Insider that Noodles can use ghost kitchens in an area like this to understand the location before it moves in with a freestanding restaurant.

Lukach added that the ghost kitchens are still very much in test mode.

Like Noodles, fellow fast-casual chain Smashburger is eyeing growth in 2021 with the opening of 40 new restaurants, but it’s shunning ghost kitchens for the time being. Instead, the company told Insider it can opt to build smaller restaurants in areas where orders are heavily digital, take-out, or delivery.

Read the original article on Business Insider