Cava is giving its 1,600 employees the opportunity to take two hours of paid leave on Election Day to vote.
“My mom was a waitress. She didn’t have that chance to vote. She was so busy working,” Cava co-founder Ted Xenohristos told Restaurant Business. “I was a waiter for 20 years. It was almost impossible to vote.”
Cava employees learned of the perk in an internal email sent last week, Xenohristos said. To take advantage of the paid time off—which must occur either at the start or the end of a shift on Nov. 6—employees are to give their manager two weeks’ notice, he said. He said it was still too early to tell how many workers had requested time off or what sort of staffing shuffles would be required.
“We’re going to work with each team member,” he said. “The objective is to get everyone out voting.”
Cava has also added state-specific voting information from Vote.org to its internal employee-communication computer system.
“The response we’ve gotten from our employees has been truly amazing,” he said. “They’re happy to participate and be part of their communities.”
The benefit applies only to Cava employees, not those of Zoes Kitchen, which is pending acquisition by the Mediterranean fast-casual chain.