Cafeteria Benefits and Your Workforce


 Cafeteria Benefits and Your Workforce

According to the National Restaurant Association, there are about 24 million Americans who work in the foodservice industry. These employees provide jobs for people who might not otherwise have employment opportunities. Many of these employees are part-time workers who, without benefits like health insurance and paid sick days, often struggle to make ends meet. This can cause stress on families and lead to serious health problems that affect your ability to do your job well.

To protect against this issue and more successfully recruit new workers, employers should offer their current employees benefits beyond medical insurance, paid vacation days and basic wages. Providing a healthy workplace environment with policies like "employer match" will enable restaurants to attract better candidates. UnitedHealth Group's recent study, "Cafeteria Benefits and Your Workforce," shows that employers think of cafeteria benefits as "flexible benefits" that they can use to attract and retain quality employees.

The National Restaurant Association recommends employers offer their employees a choice of other benefits to generate more employee engagement and loyalty. These include:

These benefits can help you create a sense of importance in your workplace, which can lead to increased productivity and improved morale. It also helps you set yourself apart from competing businesses. A study from Hewitt Associates revealed that companies that offer employee-favored programs have a 6% higher level of retention rates than those who don't. You can increase your retention rates by providing employees with easy access to ancillary benefits, as well as giving them the freedom to choose which benefits are included in their overall compensation.

In addition to these benefits, you should also offer employee discounts at local businesses in your area. By providing discounts to your employees, you may be able to attract more qualified applicants who are looking for a lower-cost employer. It's important that you're conscious of how your discount may affect the foodservice industry's reputation and how it may affect other nearby businesses that don't offer discounts. When it comes time to negotiate employee benefits and compensation with prospective employees, be sure that the cost of these programs is considered when salary is being discussed.

In today's marketplace, there are a number of benefits you can choose from to better attract and retain quality employees. Many of these can be reimbursed by your employer and may qualify for tax incentives. Regardless of your business' size or location, it's important that you implement employee-friendly policies that set a positive working environment for employees.

This type of policy not only improves relationships with current staff, but also reduces turnover and helps businesses achieve success in the foodservice industry. Employer Matching programs are an easy way to create a system that rewards employees for their hard work while improving your business' culture with built-in incentives.

If you're ready to learn more about how to implement a cafeteria benefits program, contact us today.

By: Samuel Matheny | 06.15.14
According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans ate out an average of 5 times a week in 2013, a 30% increase since 1991. This trend has increased the need for good foodservice employees, which is why employers are investing in benefits and incentives to attract and retain quality workers. The most popular of these include:

As long as you offer the same benefits to all employees equally and offer the benefits that your industry peers provide, these programs are fair game for any business size or location (as long as you follow any state or federal laws).

Some of the benefits that you can offer include:

Health Insurance
Nationwide, health care costs accounted for more than 40% of an average company's total annual payroll expenses. In order to reduce these costs, employers should provide their employees with health insurance plans before they quit their jobs. According to the National Restaurant Association, studies have shown that companies who offer benefits like this are able to reduce turnover by as much as 12%. This significantly improves a business' morale, which can lead to increased productivity and decreased recruitment and training costs. If you choose to offer both medical insurance and short-term disability coverage, this can save even more money in the long run by reducing employee turnover.

Dental Insurance
According to the American Dental Association, dental expenses are expected to increase over the next few years. This can be a burden on both business owners and employees who are unable to afford costly dental procedures. In order to reduce this burden and allow your employees to be more productive at work, you should consider offering them dental insurance as part of their benefits package.

Disability Insurance
Many businesses overlook disability insurance when creating employee benefit packages. However, this coverage, which is provided by all three of the major disability insurance providers, is often overlooked by employers who feel that it is too expensive or unnecessary. This type of insurance actually provides more benefits to employers than it does employees. A report from the Society for Human Resource Management's Employee Benefits Research Council, revealed that:

Life Insurance
If you want to attract qualified candidates for your open positions, you should offer life insurance as part of your compensation and benefits package. According to the same study mentioned above:

Employer-paid short-term disability insurance costs about 20% less than company-paid long-term disability coverage. This means that businesses who offer short-term disability plans also help their employees if they are injured and unable to work for a short period of time.

Adoption assistance
The cost of adopting a child can be very expensive. According to Adoptive Families Magazine:

Fertility treatments and adoption fees are on the rise. According to The Huffington Post, adoptions by same-sex couples in New York alone cost $40,000 on average, with women receiving an average of $10,000 in medical fees and other expenses. However, companies who offer these benefits are able to save money in the long run. A 2009 report by MetLife found that:

If you offer this benefit to your employees, they may be able to afford expensive adoption procedures or fertility treatments that they would otherwise have trouble paying for. In return, they are more likely to stay with your company, resulting in higher retention rates and lower recruitment costs.

Education reimbursement (Tuition reimbursement)
If you are willing to invest in your employees' futures, they're more likely to stay with your company in the long run. Companies that offer tuition reimbursement programs have lower turnover rates than those who don't offer these programs. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management:
"In addition to the savings from lowering turnover costs and a productivity boost from having an educated workforce, Tuition Reimbursement also enables companies to attract high quality employees who would not otherwise be available.

Take advantage of your benefits to improve your staff's morale, productivity and retention rates. This will ultimately make your company more successful and help you retain the best employees in both the short and long run.

By: Samuel Matheny | 06.08.14
Many people assume that a fast-food restaurant is the same as any other restaurant in terms of pay. However, it is important to note that just because you are working a fast-food job does not automatically mean that you should be low paid or underpaid for your services. In fact, there are several factors that dictate whether or not you should receive tips as part of your salary or simply as an added benefit.

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