- It’s not just big businesses hiking wages to attract workers, but small ones too.
- After one ice cream shop doubled wages it received over 1,000 applications in a week.
- “I have not noticed a difference on our bottom line,” Jacob Hanchar told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
As big businesses like Chipotle and Target offer higher starting wages to attract workers, small employers are following suit.
Jacob Hanchar, co-owner of Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in Pittsburgh, spoke with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle about how he thought there was a labor shortage until he more than doubled his shop’s hourly wage from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $15.
“We received well over 1,000 applications” in one week for 16 positions, Hanchar said. “We stopped counting once we reached a thousand.”
He explained that the decision has been a net positive for the business, especially in the food-service industry where high turnover and burnout are major workplace challenges.
“A lot of people work two or three jobs and now they are just working one job, so people are showing up on time now, they’re reporting to work in a better mood, customer service has improved, things like that that you don’t always account for,” he told Ruhle.
Financially, Hanchar said the move to double employee pay has led to increased sales from customers who want to support businesses that support employees, and that the quality of service has gone up.
“At the end of the day, I have not noticed a difference on our bottom line,” he said.
The decision was neither easy nor automatic, he added, but competition from other employers was causing him to lose his best workers, and that was causing issues in other areas of the shop’s operations.
“I had to really study this in-depth and really take a look at our forecasts and really think through how I was going to manage this,” he said. “It’s not just strict, double-book accounting, you have to take every aspect into account.”