Bojangles closed all 277 of its company-owned restaurants Monday and is doing the same in two weeks as “rest and refreshment” days for employees who worked hard during the pandemic, the quick-service chain said in a statement.
Employees, however, are not getting paid for the two days off, a chain spokesperson confirmed via email to Restaurant Business.
“Many Bojangles’ employees are working extensive overtime to continue to serve our customers during the industry-wide labor shortage, and our main purpose for the two wellness days is to give them a much-needed break,” Stacey McCray, the chain’s senior director of communications, said.
Some 8,000 crew members and managers will have the choice of making up the unpaid hours during the rest of the week, Bojangles said.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based chicken-and-biscuits chain said it plans to soon roll out more benefits to support the health and well-being of its employees.
Bojangles has a total of 760 restaurants in 14 states. The next closure of corporate stores happens on Sept. 13.
“We appreciate everything our dedicated team has done for Bojangles this past year,” CEO Jose Armario said in a statement. “From navigating a global pandemic to adjusting to new safety measures to picking up shifts for those unable to come in for work … But this hasn’t been easy, and we know many people are physically and emotionally drained, so we hope these extra two days off will provide rest and refreshment.”
Struggling to find workers, chains around the country have instituted creative recruitment and retention efforts. Many have started paying workers $15 an hour or more, while others are testing four-day work weeks for greater flexibility.
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