But Shake Shack, which operates about 340 restaurants in the US and abroad, told Insider that it has stopped offering the scheduling perk to managers. Going forward, the chain is instead focusing on recruiting hourly workers amid a prolonged labor shortage that continues to challenge the restaurant industry.
“Regarding the 4-day work week, it’s currently on pause due to COVID-19,” a Shake Shack spokesperson told Insider in an email. “There’s always a possibility that it could return, but right now Shake Shack’s workplace initiatives are focused on diversity and career growth as these are two things the company has heard from employees are important to them.”
Two years ago, CEO Randy Garutti revealed the four-day work test for store managers during a conference in Las Vegas. At the time, he said supervisors at a handful of stores were working 40 hours in a four-day work period.
Supervisors trialing the new work schedule told Garutti that having three days off improves their lifestyle and finances because they don’t have to pay for an extra day of child care, according to a March 2019 Nation’s Restaurant News article.
“The recruiting possibilities are huge,” Garutti said at the conference.
Recruitment is still a priority for Shake Shack, the company said.
In July, Shake Shack announced plans to spend $10 million to attract and retain both hourly workers and salaried managers. That includes spending $9 million increasing wages for workers at more than two-thirds of its restaurants in 2021, the company said.
Shake Shack is also spending $1 million on hiring bonuses and giving managers perks, like helping them pay their cell phone bills and covering the cost of subscription services like Spotify. The hiring bonus program, which had offered bonuses of $1,000 for managers and $500 for hourly workers, ended on August 31.
Incentivizing restaurant and bar workers has been vital for the restaurant industry, which saw employment fall by 42,000 jobs in August, the first downturn since April 2020. Overall, the leisure and hospitality sector, including restaurants, is down 1.7 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels.
While Shake Shack is temporarily giving up on the four-day workweek perk, restaurant industry veteran Jason Berry told Insider that he plans to launch a test of a four-day workweek for salaried chefs and managers. Each shift would last 12 hours and focus only on dining room or kitchen duties.
Berry, founder of Washington DC-based restaurant group KNEAD Hospitality + Design, said he’s excited about the possibility of recruiting experienced managers who have left the business due to its “grueling” schedule.
“By adding a program that allows for better work/life balance and flexibility, we believe we will cast a wider net and attract those that want to work in this industry but have either left due to the hours required or [been] disincentivized by the typical lifestyle,” Berry said.
The new drive-thru concept will be owned by one of the biggest Taco Bell franchisees in the country, with three lanes dedicated to mobile orders alongside a fourth, traditional lane. A contactless food delivery system that “defies gravity” will transport orders from the kitchen above down to cars through a lift system.
The pandemic sped everything up. Suddenly drive-thrus weren’t just a way to do business, they were the primary way customers felt safe visiting restaurants amid closed dining rooms and health concerns. Typically, drive-thrus account for 70% of sales at fast-food chains. But in 2020 chains like Wendy’s and McDonald’s said it was closer to 90%.
Shake Shack’s design for its first-ever drive-thrus, planned to open sometime in 2022, skips the traditional single lane step altogether. Instead, the burger chain is jumping right into the multi-lane designs that are growing more popular in the industry, with three lanes to accommodate mobile and on-site orders.
“Why not test out something like this? They can learn an awful lot, and maybe this is the way the market will trend in the long run,” Mark Kalinowski, founder of Kalinowski Equity Research, told Insider. “It’s a futuristic way of thinking, and restaurants are getting more willing to be a little different.”
A mass brawl that apparently began inside a Shake Shack branch and spilled out into the parking lot was captured on video.
The altercation, which witnesses say fizzled out after a few minutes, involved a group of 10-12 teenage girls, according to Fox 2.
A witness also suggested that the girls may have been employed there, due to the logo on their shirts, although Insider has been unable to confirm this. Shake Shack did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Witness Jason Taylor told Fox 2: “I’m looking and I see the green burger (logo) on their shirts and I said they’re the Shake Shack girls,” of seeing the group of women brawling in a parking lot outside of the burger chain. “I told my cousin, ‘No Shake Shack today, buddy.'”
Taylor also told the outlet: “A girl flew over the chain with a juice bottle and was hitting the girl in the head with it. I didn’t try to break up anything because it’s Detroit, anything can happen.”
A Campbell spokesperson told Insider the entire food industry was experiencing inflation. “Campbell has a variety of tools to offset the inflationary environment, including pricing actions across most of our portfolio to reflect the broad-based increases in input costs.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
The app will offer its US and Canada shoppers, who deliver groceries to customers, a $25 stipend to get vaccinated.
The German grocery chain is encouraging workers to get vaccinated by offering its US workers $200 in extra pay if they receive the immunization.
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.
The coffee chain is offering workers two hours of pay per dose of the COVID-19 vaccine they receive.
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
The meat-packing company is offering employees a $100 bonus incentive if they receive the vaccine voluntarily.
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.
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.
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
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.
Shake Shack has finally added avocado to its menu.
You can have it in one of two new avocado and bacon dishes, or, for the first time, add it to any other burger or sandwich on the menu.
Shake Shack launched its Avocado Bacon Menu Wednesday. You can order either a burger or a sandwich with freshly-sliced avocado and Niman Ranch applewood-smoked bacon.
The burger comes a Shake Shack patty, while the sandwich adds a crispy chicken breast, lettuce, pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo to the avocado-bacon combo.
Prices depend on where you are, but at the Flatbush restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, the burger costs $7.89 for a single and $10.69 for a double, while the sandwich costs $8.79. Adding avocado slices to other menu items costs $1.25.
The two new dishes are available until June 30 at all US locations, but Shake Shack told Thrillist that the avocado add-on option was here to stay, and that avocado was one of the chain’s most requested additions.