Many Restaurant Workers Do Not Have Incomes High Enough To Make Ends Meet
The very low wages typically received in restaurants means restaurant workers are much more likely to live in poverty or near-poverty than workers in other industries. When looking at these measures, it is important to note that poverty researchers generally do not consider the poverty threshold to be a good measure of what it takes to make ends meet, in part because the poverty threshold was set in the 1960s and has not evolved to reflect changing shares of spending on various necessities by low-income families. Due to such limitations, the twice-poverty ratethe share of people whose income is below twice the official poverty lineis often used as a more meaningful metric for determining what share of workers do not earn enough to make ends meet. For reference, in 2013, the poverty threshold for a family of four was $23,836, and the twice-poverty threshold was $47,672.
Table 7 shows poverty and twice-poverty rates for restaurant workers and other workers, both overall and for various demographic groups. One in six restaurant workers, or 16.7 percent, live below the official poverty line. The poverty rate for workers outside the restaurant industry is more than 10 percentage points lower, at 6.3 percent. More than two in five restaurant workers live below twice the poverty line, more than twice the 19.9 percent share outside the restaurant industry.
A Restaurant Brainstorms How To Afford Obamacare
But Benjamin acknowledges that his staffing needs and profit margins are different from a fast-food chain like White Castle, and that’s why they have different calculations about hiring part-timers. A number of big fast-food chains have said they’ll use the strategy of increasing part-time workers, although one, Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster, has reversed course. Part of the reason was a public backlash to the decision that hurt their business.
A recent survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that half of the small businesses responding said they will reduce hours or add more part-timers in response to the law. But there are no hard data, so far, showing the industry moving to more part-time employees, says Scott DeFife, a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association.
“There’s no big strategic part-time shift,” he says. “In fact, data shows that in the past year average hours per employee is going up.”
The National Restaurant Association hopes that Congress will use the one-year delay to make the law less burdensome to employers, DeFife says. But that would mean they’d provide fewer of their workers with health insurance.
The Expense Of Staffing A Restaurant
The National Restaurant Association notes that restaurant operators face a range of challenges associated with increased labor costs and legislative battles around hourly wages and healthcare that can weaken their bottom line. In addition, employee recruitment and retention remains a top challenge for restaurant owners. There is more competition than ever and it is therefore harder to find and keep skilled restaurant workers.
Compensation is a sensitive subject for restaurant owners. External pressures, such as market norms, vie with the internal realities of a restaurants budgetary needs. This can be a particularly daunting challenge when determining payment for top culinary talent , as well as loyal kitchen and wait staff. When the salaries of your employees are added up every month, there is probably very little left over for additional benefits, like healthcare coverage. Nonetheless, despite the hefty outlay involved, owner-sponsored health insurance can make sense for restaurant owners as well as employees.
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Boost Restaurants Productivity And Profits Through Affordable Health Coverage
Healthier, less stressed employees are happier, faster, and more reliable. It’s important for restaurant owners to understand the health care roadblocks their workers often face.
Traditionally, many restaurant owners havent offered health insurance to their employees. With high turnover rates and a large number of part-time workers, offering an employer-sponsored health plan has been viewed as a bigger hassle than its worth.
Today, however, the Affordable Care Act requires companies with 100 full-time workers to offer health insurance to all employees who work at least 30 hours per week. In 2016, businesses with 50 or more employees will be subject to these regulations.
This major shift is helping restaurant owners recognize the importance of helping employees get quality care. After all, healthier, less stressed employees are happier, faster, and more reliable workers. But to truly help employees find affordable coverage that meets their needs, restaurant owners first must understand the struggles their workers commonly facewith or without health insurance.
The Health Care Struggles of Restaurant Employees
There are a number of health care-related struggles that many restaurant workers endure, often unbeknownst to their employers, such as:
Help Employees Get Affordable Coverage
Medicaid Is a Win-Win
The opinions of contributors are their own. Publication of their writing does not imply endorsement by FSR magazine or Journalistic Inc.
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Should You Offer Group Health Insurance If You Own A Small Business
More than half of small business owners 56% offer their employees group health insurance, according to a 2020 Kaiser Foundation study. Even though small business owners are not required to offer health insurance, there is a strong argument to make that you should offer group health insurance to your employees, if possible, because it is a compelling added value for your employees and your business. Consider the following advantages:
Overall, offering group health coverage may be a worthwhile investment for your small business, even if you arent legally bound to offer it.
The Reason Most Restaurant Servers Are Uninsured
In a recent post I criticized Darden for attempting to avoid paying for health insurance for restaurant servers. In a politically charged time like the one we are in, this could have been seen as a blatantly political statement. While this is a fair criticism, I think it fails to take into account the unique difficulties restaurant servers face in obtaining health insurance. The restaurant industry has successfully pushed for laws that reduce their labor costs, but in doing so they make it far more expensive for restaurant servers to obtain health insurance.
Most employees receive some sort of health insurance benefit from their employer. Even if the employer does not contribute to the cost of the health insurance, they will allow the employee the opportunity to buy into a group plan. If the employee chooses to do so, the premiums are deducted from their paycheck in pre-tax dollars. This increases the buying power of the employee significantly and allows for them to afford higher premiums by taking advantage of this tax break. Restaurant servers do not have this option.
The result is a paycheck that looks like this:
The situation is even more confusing for servers who make less in tips than I do and receive a small amount on their paycheck. Years ago, this was the case for me as well. I signed up for what I now know was possibly the worst health insurance plan ever. It was the premium plan offered by my employer. Here is the breakdown:
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Does Mcdonalds Offer Health Insurance To Its Employees
To maintain your overall health and well-being in the United States, health insurance is a must. Most US residents obtain coverage through their employer, as it is usually more economical than purchasing a policy through their states Individual Marketplace. Fortunately, many American organizations do offer health insurance policies as a benefit for their employees.
If youre working at McDonalds or are planning on seeking employment at McDonalds, you might be wondering if you will be eligible for employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. To find out if the fast food giant offers health insurance and what type of stipulations there may be, please continue reading.
Who Works In Restaurants
Table 2 compares the demographic characteristics of restaurant workers and other workers. Slightly over half of restaurant workers are women. In addition, restaurant workers are mostly white non-Hispanic , but restaurant workers are much more likely to be Hispanic than workers in other industries nearly one-quarter of restaurant workers are Hispanic, compared with 15.2 percent in other industries.
The data used here allow us to determine what share of workers are U.S. born, what share are immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens, and what share are non-naturalized immigrants. There are many kinds of non-naturalized immigrants, including permanent residents, temporary visa holders, refugees, individuals granted asylum, and undocumented workers, but it is impossible to distinguish among these groups of non-naturalized immigrants with our data thus, we group them together. It should be noted that the CPS likely undercounts undocumented immigrants to some extent, meaning that the shares of non-naturalized immigrants are likely understated. The data show that the vast majority of restaurant workers are U.S. born. However, restaurant workers are much more likely to be non-naturalized immigrants than workers in other industries roughly one in six restaurant workers are non-naturalized immigrants, nearly double the share outside the restaurant industry.
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How Small Businesshealth Insurance Can Help Your Restaurant Save Money
Offering group health insurance to your restaurant employeesmay be easier and more affordable than you previously thought. Enrolling insmall business health insurance coverage could allow both you and your restaurantemployees to save on the cost of health benefits in several ways:
- More affordable premiums Group health insurance premiums tend to cost less than individual health plans. According to an eHealth study, the average small business health insurance premium per person was 7 percent lower than the average individual health plan premium.
- Cost sharing contributions In group health plans, employers typically with their workers. As a result, employer-sponsored health coverage may be a more affordable option for your restaurant employees than getting their own individual policies.
- Tax deduction benefits As a small business, you can usually deduct health insurance premiums paid toward employee health coverage from your federal business taxes.
- Potential tax credit If your restaurant has less than 25 employees and meets certain annual wage requirements, you may be able to qualify for the small business health care tax credit.
The benefits of group health coverage are available even if you have relatively few restaurant employees at your business. According to the eHealth 2018 Small Business Health Insurance Report, the average number of covered employees was 3.9 people among small businesses that purchased group health plans through eHealth in 2018.
Contributions To Childcare Costs
Childcare is unaffordable for the majority of families in America. According to a 2018 study by Care.com, the average American family will spend 20% of their yearly income on childcare costs. And the restaurant industry is its own beast.
There are more than one million single mothers working in restaurants around America, and some 40% of those live at or below the poverty line. These mothers spend an average of 35% of their weekly wages on childcare.
Contributing to your employees child care costs helps alleviate a heavy financial burden and may lead to improved employee morale and availability. Youll also be less likely to have parents call out when their child is home with a cold or if something else should come up, since theyll be more likely to afford the help.
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This Report Analyzes And Compares Wendy’s’ Employee Health Insurance And Employee Benefits With Its Industry And In Ohio State
Providing a smart employee benefits package is critical for attracting top talent and retaining valuable employees. Today, employee benefits play a vital role when candidates consider accepting a job offer.
Many companies offer today over-the-top perks, like yoga classes, haircuts, catered meals, and acupuncture. In this report, we focus however on traditional benefits. It’s a work in progress that we will expand and update on a regular basis.
Understanding The Ramifications Of Health Care In The Restaurant Industry
The restaurant industry has never been easy and it continues to be a challenging environment for those who want to succeed and make it big. Money is always an issue, as are concerns related to a restaurants employees. Payroll is one of a restaurants biggest ongoing expenses, and at the end of the month, theres usually very little surplus cash around for extras. Nonetheless, although owner-sponsored health insurance is not mandatory for small restaurants, its an option that should be considered when you look at the overall well-being of your staff and, in turn, of your restaurant.
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Eligibility For Mcdonalds Employer
Generally, in order for McDonalds employees to be eligible for health insurance coverage, they must be working for the company for a period of 90 days. Moreover, in order to be eligible, working a certain amount of hours may be a requirement in order to obtain coverage. For example, the benefits that are available for full-time employees will be different than the benefits that are available for part-time employees . Additionally, your role as an employee of McDonalds can also impact your eligibility and the benefits that you can receive. For instance, managers may be offered benefits, while counter workers, cooks, and janitorial staff may not be eligible for benefits.
In order to find out the specific details regarding the insurance coverage that the McDonalds you are employed by offers, the best advice is to speak to your manager. Your employer will be able to tell you what type of options are available for you, and any stipulations that may affect eligibility.
Should You Providegroup Health Insurance To Your Restaurant Employees
According to the Affordable Care Act , an employer is not required to offer health insurance if it has less than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees. However, although restaurants may not be obligated to provide medical benefits to their workers, offering a group health plan may help business owners through contributing to a key strategic priority: the retention of restaurant employees and staff.
Due to the unique nature of the restaurant industry,restaurant owners have faced significant challenges that often prevent themfrom being able to offer health insurance benefits to their employees. Inparticular, the primary problem is that restaurants tend to be high-turnoverbusinesses, which can create labor issues for employers because of frequentlyneeding to look for and train new staff.
Offering popularbenefits to your restaurant employees, such as group health insurance coverage, may be an effective way to reduce turnover and increase loyalty and retention. Workers may be more likely to stay at a restaurant if they know that their employer cares about their long-term well-being. From the restaurant owners perspective, additional benefits of providing health insurance may include less employee absences and less sick days due to workers having more access to medical resources.
What Do Employers Need To Communicate To Their Employees If They Offer Small Business Group Health Insurance
If you decide to offer small group health insurance, you will need to provide your employees with specific information about the Marketplace health insurance offering:
- Who qualifies to participate in the companys group health plan. Small business employers are required to offer full-time employees the health coverage. Full-time means the employee works on average at least 30 hours per week. You are not obligated to offer coverage to employees family members but should disclose whether or not dependents may be covered by your companys plan.
- If you have new hires and you are uncertain whether they will work full-time, you are permitted to have a wait period, usually no more than 90 days from date of hire, to determine if the new hire is eligible to participate in the plan. Your employee communications should include a description of this wait period, if applicable.
- Benefits covered by your group health insurance plan. You must provide employees with a standard Summary of Benefits and Coverage form explaining what their health plan covers and what it costs. The purpose of the SBC is to help employees understand their health insurance options.
Health Insurance For Restaurant Employees
Are you considering health insurance for your restaurantemployees? You may be surprised to learn that even small restaurants canqualify for small business health insurance coverage, and your restaurant maybe able to save money through lower group premiums and potential small businesstax credits.
If youre not sure if you can afford health benefits foryour restaurant employees, continue reading to learn how group medical coveragecould be more accessible than you may have previously thought.
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Mental Health And Wellness Benefits
Shift drinks and staff meals are benefits that people whove worked in the restaurant industry for any amount of time have come to expect. But there are a growing number of benefits out there focused on improving employee wellness and mental health.
Its no secret that the restaurant industry is plagued by struggles with alcohol and substance abuse. According to a 2015 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the food service and hospitality industry has the highest rates of substance abuse and third-highest rate of alcohol use of all industries. Meanwhile, a 2018 study by the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that service workers who rely on tips are at greater risk for depression, sleep problems, and stress as compared to those in non-tipped, salaried industries.
To help combat this industry-wide struggle, introduce programs and activities as part of your employee benefits package that promote a healthier lifestyle for your restaurant staff. Here are a few ways you can help out your employees:
- Provide resources leading to outside support systems, including national organizations like Chefs with Issues and Bens Friends.
- Offer discounted access to yoga classes, gym memberships, or fitness classes.
- Advocate for healthier, balanced food and drink habits. Consider cutting shift drinks.
- Promote and provide discounted or fully covered access to apps and online resources for yoga and meditation. Headspace and Calm are both great options.