A year ago, if someone were to ask Robert Maynard—CEO of 17-unit brunch chain Famous Toastery—if baby boomers were going to help shave off some of his labor stress, his answer would’ve been much different than it is today. “I would’ve chuckled,” Maynard says. Now, the chain is hiring more and more members of the generation and playing up how the brand can naturally fit into boomers’ lifestyles as an employer.
Allow for short-term retirement planning
In 2015, White Castle began transitioning from a pension plan to a 401(k), allowing full-time employees to contribute more and take funds with them during a career change or retirement. “The runway to retirement is much shorter for them, and a 401(k) plan is more portable for more short-term hires,” Richardson says. White Castle staff are match eligible after one year and 1,000 hours worked, and all contributions are 100% vested.
Communicate flexible hours
Extend family perks
White Castle adapted its scholarship program after talking with boomer staffers. Instead of qualifying after two years, employees and their families now can apply for the benefit as early as six months. The chain has also advertised the opportunity though a systemwide monthly newsletter to help more employees take advantage.
Train for all ages
Hamilton’s younger bosses at Famous Toastery do not give her special treatment, but “are respectful of that fact that I’m older,” she says, offering one-on-one training for new POS tech and allowing time to master the skill. Maynard says that’s not an accident; the brand has a strict vetting process for its franchisees to ensure they buy into the chain’s family values. “They have to treat everyone like a family member, but we aren’t training people to be pushovers, either,” he says.