Papa John’s is giving its pizza makers bonuses of up to $400, as restaurants cling onto staff in the labor shortage

FILE PHOTO: The Papa John's store in Westminster, Colorado, U.S. August 1, 2017.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The Papa John’s store in Westminster

  • Papa John’s is handing out bonuses of up to $400 to many of its employees.
  • Existing staff can get up to $400 in increments, and $50 for referring a new hire.
  • Staff at corporate-owned restaurants are eligible. It didn’t say how it would decide exact bonus amounts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Papa John’s is paying bonuses of up to $400 as the restaurant industry scrambles to retain workers amid a huge labor shortage.

About 14,000 staff at company-owned restaurants, and in its supply chain, can get up to $400 paid in increments over the next six months. Papa John’s didn’t say how it would decide how much each staff member gets.

It’s also rolling out referral bonuses to recruit more staff. Staff can get $50 for each new hire they refer to the company – and new starters can get a $50 hiring bonus, it announced Thursday.

The bonuses apply to staff at the chain’s nearly 600 company-owned restaurants, which represent nearly a fifth of its restaurants in North America, alongside its quality control centers (QCC). Across the corporate restaurants and QCCs, Papa John’s employs about 14,000 people.

Read more: These 9 food tech startups are capitalizing on the labor crunch with tools that help franchisees hire or automate the restaurant workforce

The pizza chain said the staff benefits it introduced during the pandemic were now permanent. These include expanded health, wellness, paid time-off, and college-tuition benefits.

Papa John’s said that its bonuses, alongside extra investment in full-time staff at its higher-volume company-owned restaurants, would cost it around $2.5 million by the end of 2021.

“The incredible hard work and commitment of our team members, which powered Papa John’s tremendous performance and transformation over the past 18 months, is just as important to our sustained long-term growth,” Rob Lynch, CEO of the pizza chain, said in a statement.

“Similar to programs being offered by our franchisees, these new bonuses for our team members in our corporate restaurants and quality control centers reflect the value we place on growing, retaining, and supporting our dedicated team.”

The US is suffering from a severe shortage of workers, and restaurants have been especially hard hit, with a third of former hospitality workers saying in a Joblist poll that they won’t return to the industry.

The US Chamber of Commerce has called the national labor shortage a “national economic emergency” and warned it could hold back the recovery from the pandemic.

Together with rising ingredients costs, the labor shortage is pushing menu prices up at some restaurants. Some are struggling to pay rent.

Fast-food chains are trying perks to attract new hires and to cling onto existing staff. One McDonald’s restaurant said it would give iPhones to new hires while another handed out $50 to anyone who showed up for an interview. The company is also raising wages in its corporate-owned restaurants by an average of 10%.

The Federal Reserve said that the labor squeeze could last months – but Bank of America expects the job market to recover by early 2022.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Papa John’s is finally launching its cheese stuffed crust across the whole of the US. With a promo code, it’s $12 for a large single-topping pizza.

Papa John's
  • Papa John’s cheese-stuffed crust is finally hitting stores nationwide on December 28.
  • The Epic Stuffed Crust, which uses Papa John’s original dough filled with cheese, costs $12 for a large one-topping pizza with the promo code “STUFFED.”
  • This is only the second time the chain has introduced a variant on its original crust in 35 years.
  • Papa John’s first rolled out the crust in October in select states including in Ohio, Kentucky, and Texas, where it cost $3 extra to upgrade any large pizza to an Epic Stuffed Crust.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Papa John’s cheese-stuffed crust is finally hitting stores nationwide.

The Epic Stuffed Crust is being launched nationwide on December 28, but Papa Rewards members can try it early from select locations from December 21.

It costs $12 for a large one-topping pizza with the promo code “STUFFED.”

This is only the second time Papa John’s has introduced a variant on its original crust in the chain’s 35 years, after launching its garlic parmesan crust in 2019, the company said.

Each stuffed-crust pizza uses the company’s original six-ingredient dough, hand-stuffed with cheese.

“As we continue to develop new craveable menu offerings, we’re always inspired by our fans,” Tom Smith, Papa John’s director of culinary innovation, said in a press release. “Stuffed crust lovers are passionate pizza fans, and it is something our fans continue to ask for.”

Papa John’s first rolled out the crust in October in select states including in Ohio, Kentucky, and Texas, where it cost $3 extra to upgrade any large pizza to an Epic Stuffed Crust.

Read more: Papa John’s says it expects the pandemic-induced spike in pizza sales to continue ‘for the foreseeable future’

The new crust contrasts with a pizza debuted by the fast food chain earlier this year – which had no crust at all.

In June, Shaquille O’Neal and Papa John’s released a “Shaq-a-Roni” pizza that Business Insider’s Irene Jiang described as “basically a giant pepperoni pizza without a crust.” The pizza is topped with pepperoni slices right to the edges, and features what Papa John’s describes as its “largest slice size to date.”

Pizza and take-out sales are booming during the pandemic, and Papa John’s is no exception, with revenues up 17.1% year-on-year in the third quarter.

Read the original article on Business Insider