Employees, like all humans, thrive on commendation and compensation for all that they do. What if our staff deserves a little more monetary recognition than we can dish out? Consider this thought from American Industrialist, Owen D. Young: “The world does not owe men a living, but business, if it is to fulfill its ideal, owes men an opportunity to earn a living.” As business operators we can enable employees to learn to earn. How?Each year I set aside a day for my employees to earn their yearly bonus — Employee Bonus Day. I put before them the opportunity to divide amongst themselves an entire day’s sales. Am I crazy? Some may think so, but look closer. We plan a promotion on a Friday in December. This is the busiest day of the week during the busiest time of year. I assist them in planning a promotion that is not a deep discount so that we make money and do not just create more work. I show them how to market on a shoestring budget. I turn my pizza makers into moneymakers for life. To help instill awareness of food costs and marketing investment, a percentage of the day’s sales is set aside to cover those expenses.
Robert Long, a 10-year associate at my pizzeria says: “As an employee, the main thing I have learned from having an employee bonus day is the importance of all employees coming together as a team, and then putting forth their best effort to ensure an excellent sales day. I would say the single biggest thing that motivates all the employees to put forth their best effort for employee bonus day is being rewarded with a cash bonus. The more sales, the bigger the bonus for each employee.”
With an eye on the cash prize:
- Employees see things from my perspective — the more we sell and upsell, the more we earn.
- They see the benefits of skilled marketing and monitoring ROI, as I always have to do.
- Teamwork is crucial.
- Effort is crucial for a reward.
“In order to have a successful employee bonus day, employees do everything they can to have as many customers as possible want to order food on that particular day,” Long says. “Employees come up with a ‘one-day only’ special that customers can’t resist. I have found that the best ways we have done this have been through marketing in various ways — flyers on pizza boxes, signs on the front window and through creating word-of-mouth by telling friends, family, and area businesses to order on that particular day.”
As the business owner, what’s in it for me? I get a Friday off! My sales have jumped by 50 percent on employee bonus day. Plus, I now have employees who are happy, motivated and have learned to earn. As we continue into the slower winter months, these employees are now team members who keep the enthusiasm going. At the very least I have a break-even day and staff with high
Scott Anthony is a Fox’s Pizza Den franchisee in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today and a frequent guest speaker at Pizza Expo.