Punch Pizza raises its minimum wage to $10 an hour

Categories: Fast Food

PunchPizzaCityPages.jpg
Aaron Landry

For nearly 90 percent of the Punch Pizza staff, Monday must have seemed like Christmas come early, as their company raised its minimum wage by about $2.50 and distributed similar raises to the staff.

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The minimum wage has been a hotly discussed topic in 2013, especially within the restaurant industry. Just yesterday, fast-food workers across the country went on strike over low wages, and this year, the Minnesota state legislature tensely debated a minimum wage hike to $9.50, drawing a significant amount of vitriol from both sides of the issue.

As the man behind two different Minnesota-based companies in the restaurant field -- Punch Pizza and Caribou Coffee -- John Puckett knows a thing or two about business, and he thinks the decision to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour makes solid business sense. The theory he and his partner John Soranno have adopted is that by paying better wages, they will attract better workers, keep their staff for longer, and rustle up higher levels of workplace satisfaction, which they believe will lead to better service for customers.

"We didn't do this lightly," Puckett says. "We studied Costco, and what they've done with their employee pay and overtime, and they really believe it's paid off."

They've also looked within the restaurant industry for examples. In the case of beloved California-based fast-food chain In-and-Out Burger, Puckett points out that the company has paid significantly higher than minimum wage for the last 40 years, and it's been great for their brand.

"It's amazing, you go to an In-and-Out store and you don't think you're in fast food," he says. "The people are so friendly and the stores are so clean. In-and-Out Burger talks a lot about their pay as one of the reasons they have better people and they keep their people longer."

Still, with everyone from high school-aged busboys to experienced cooks and assistant managers getting raises, Puckett is realistic about his company's unique opportunity to take this risk.

"It's nice because the business is owned by my partner and me, so we don't have outside shareholders," Puckett says. "It's a little easier for us to make this investment, because we don't have to get approval, and we don't have to worry about quarterly earnings."

As the co-founder of Caribou Coffee, Puckett has seen many sides of the industry, and says he's aware of the potential pitfalls. "It's definitely a leap of faith," he says. "It is not going to be good for earnings in the short term, but we think by investing in our people, we'll have the best service and attract the best people."


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95 comments
ferryjason68
ferryjason68

That's a great news. More or less when ever workers look out for a specific term to raise the wage of go for a minimization, they look out for the labor compliance law where in the current figure has been mentioned. One of the link ( http://www.replicon.com/labor-law-compliance ) I would like to suggest here that defines the latest and updated labor law compliance that specifically helps to look out for the exact figure. Hope it will be helpful to the readers.

Aaron Wood
Aaron Wood

it's a step in the right direction!

jonmpls
jonmpls

I like supporting businesses that provide good products/services and that pay their employees well. Bravo, Punch Pizza!

Matt Roscoe
Matt Roscoe

The other 10% are already over paid?!?! Lol totally kidding! Bravo PP!

Troy Tindal
Troy Tindal

This came out over a week ago. Power to the people. Punch is bomb.

Theresa Puffer
Theresa Puffer

Support Punch Pizza by giving them your business, instead of going elsewhere. Use what buying power we have to support change. Bottom up economics is one of the few ways we can effect change.

Mc'Real Dtj
Mc'Real Dtj

They all hippies who work there and tell them its way over priced and not enough toppings..

Michael Flowers
Michael Flowers

" by paying better wages, they will attract better workers, keep their staff for longer, and rustle up higher levels of workplace satisfaction, which they believe will lead to better service for customers." Exactly what Henry Ford preached, almost 100 years ago.

Axel Arid
Axel Arid

How come no one talks about how much ticket prices go up when the Twins or Timberwolves offer someone an extra million or two or three? Or do they? Why is it that a raise to low wage earners is the ruin to society?

Kayla Fuller
Kayla Fuller

Who said anything about supporting a family? It'd be nice just to support yourself. Especially while trying to get an education.

Bridget Munson
Bridget Munson

I'd rather pay more for pizza, cause $10/hr's not really enough to love on.

Ezra Bennett
Ezra Bennett

Wait...so a business raises their minimum and you're complaining because they didn't do it SOONER? Fuck you, asshole.

Padre Pienbique
Padre Pienbique

Oh Boo-fucking-hoo. Pay the price and don't forget to tip 20%, unless you can make it better at home. And be grateful about it.

Eva Chavarria Hunter
Eva Chavarria Hunter

The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.56 today when adjusted for inflation [see the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index inflation calculator.] To keep it in perspective let's remind people, their corp lords have earned their way to reigning over most wage earners by nearly 700% when it comes to making a living wage nowadays.

John L Daley
John L Daley

Interesting they were so proud of themselves for raising the wage. So why the heck didn't they do it sooner....like years ago....if it was about the money? There may be deeper issues than the wages on this one.

Kayla Fuller
Kayla Fuller

It is supposed to be the minimum wage you could live off of.

Paige Ampersand Guggemos
Paige Ampersand Guggemos

You are completely out of touch with current economic, class, and educational systems in America. If only we could all be so lucky to be middle aged white men who were born at a time where education was affordable and increased odds for gainful employment.

Mary Cody
Mary Cody

keep bumping if you have a good staff.

muchmail
muchmail

For a chain, the food at punch is way above average if not great, the price is fair and the ambiance is good. The employees are attentive, nice and hard working. They genuinely seem to care. Punch has nailed it. Did I mention their pizza is like crack? I'd pay more for the pizza, too. Kudos.



Betsy Buck Bartleson Holden
Betsy Buck Bartleson Holden

I think the United States government should think in the same manner as these owners! Maybe life would be better for all citizens.

Gerald Nelson
Gerald Nelson

I don't see what anybody would have against raising the minimum wage. First of all it will increase all wages across the board. Second of all working in fast food sucks and is hard. Try getting a weekend job using the deep fryer and see how long you last. Thirdly the only person who could maybe complain would be wealthy business owners and corporate douchebags, I don't have any sympathy for you. Suck it up and stop leeching off the labor of the working class to press out your profit margins. Fourthly anybody who knows the slightest thing about economic knows that this will be good for our economy, and If I hear somebody incorrectly assume this will make prices go up at the exact same rate and falsely call it inflation you are an idiot and inflation is what happens when you devalue the dollar by printing off a ton of it and minimum wage needs to be raised to keep up with it.

John Nikles
John Nikles

The cost of the pizza is determined by many factors. Ingredients, overhead, wages, etc. Then its value can increase or decrease depending on how good it actually is. To blindly say that you are willing to pay 2 dollars more per pizza because you know they take care of their employees is just ridiculous. Are you in the habit of asking an establishment what they pay their employees before you buy their products? I wonder how long it takes you to find an establishment where you think the wages are high enough for you to buy their product? Seems like that would get awful tiring. One thing to remember, the employees accepted the job knowing what the hourly rate was no one put a gun to their head.

Patricia Omerza
Patricia Omerza

Another reason to love Punch pizza. And Rick, I'll be happy to pay another $2 per pizza if it means their employees are well paid. The pizzas are excellent and even more worth it knowing we're taking care of each other.

Dane Aura
Dane Aura

If they raised the wages due to growth, more power to them and it's deserved. If it's to make a point? It won't last.

Joe Sneve
Joe Sneve

And without a government mandate?! Oh my.

Debbie Pias
Debbie Pias

If only it were so black and white, and wrapped up into cute little boxes with bows, you two...

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

wait...they're not increasing the price of pizza are they? that would totally suck.


get machines to make those pizza pies...problem solved

Malinda Marie
Malinda Marie

If you're "not eating pizza" from an establishment who chooses to pay it's workers a better wage, congratulations, you are what's wrong with this country. What a douchebag..

Sommer Berg
Sommer Berg

Rick, with all this speculation without a concrete source you sound like you should be working for CNN.

Charles Paurus
Charles Paurus

I am totally cool with them giving a better wage to their staff. I just wish that had better pizza.

WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

You apparently know nothing about business.


Businesses are in business to make profit. 


Businesses can only make profit when they maximize revenue while minimizing costs. 


Labor is a huge cost (especially in industries that have razor thin profit margins such as restaurants and retail). That is why these industries pay little to the low-skill laborers. Low-skill laborers are in abundance. It only takes one minute, using your example, to teach someone how to make french fries from....frozen french fries (throw them into the oil and wait until they float). If it takes more than one minute to teach someone that, then we have bigger societal issues to deal with. But I digress. 


If they are corporations, they have to pay off investors which makes profit margins even smaller. 


On the other hand, in other industries where actual skill is required from the laborers, the businesses have no choice but to pay premium wages (and benefits) simply because there is a smaller pool of candidates who possess those skills. If they do not pay them what they are worth, they will quit and work for the competition. Furthermore.....Oh wait......I'm speaking common sense, which apparently escapes you.


Let me explain it in simple terms that perhaps you can understand:


Car mechanic: Goes to school for 2 years. Works at a shop for 1-2 years perfecting his/her craft. Finally gets paid $30+ per hour.


French Fryer: Dropped out of high school. Applies at McDonalds. Learns how to place frozen, pre-cut potatoes into hot oil. Waits for them to float. Earns $7.50/hr.


See?






WatusiJenkins
WatusiJenkins

Why not $20/hr? $30/hr? $100/hr? Why stop at $15/hr?

ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol The whole appeal of Punch is the coal oven, if you want machine pizza, get Dominos.

ajlalk3
ajlalk3 topcommenter

So, because the employees make at the very least $10 an hour, you won't go there anymore? You're an absolute joke.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

LOL  why not? because you hate pizza now?

cruhland
cruhland

@WatusiJenkins

Your summary is not entirely accurate.


I've worked in many white collar workplaces with people who were hired not because of their qualifications and skills but because they knew someone who helped them land the job (a friend or a relative). Many were woefully under qualified and sucked.


This is not uncommon.


Why should someone receive a higher wage than a fast food worker simply because of connections they inherited?

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