$15/hr & IRAs: Brigid's Pub's New Normal

Mar 11, 2021

...through through the pandemic, we really, really saw how committed our staff was. And just the way that they stepped up was just incredible and dealt with all the uncertainty and all the changing guidelines. And ....what are the things that we could do that are going to be the most impactful on people's long term quality of life? And these are these are some of the  jumping off points that we decided on. - Jake Robinson, Brigid's Irish Pub

The pandemic has created extreme challenges for the restaurant and service industry.  Like all restaurant and bar owners, Jake Robinson and Travis Glass of Brigid's Irish Pub in Bemidji were faced with unique challenges a year ago.  With a loyal staff and a business they loved, they were determined to figure out a way to make it work.

...it was a big priority for us to keep everyone working and try to keep our team intact as much as we could...we didn't really know what was coming down the pipe. We didn't know if we were going to be able to open back up within two or three weeks or if we'd be shut down...and these are people's jobs...we wanted people to feel stability in their livelihoods...we wanted to have our core group of employees with us. - Jake Robinson

They made some initial changes and eventually were able to secure some government assistance for businesses.  They made it work.  Now, with music, trivia and busy nights on the horizon, the pub is looking forward to returning to some semblence of normal.  But after some contemplation, Robinson and Glass decided going back to business as usual might not best serve their staff in a way that really works for building a life. To that, they've increase the wages of their non-tipped staff to $15/hr and the pub is rolling out a company wide IRA match for those employed at least 6 months.  

Jake Robinson joined the morning show today.  Listen to the full story to learn how the past year has gone and how they hope these changes impact their business and their employees. 

a big part of it, too, is building a really core team rather than kind of having the revolving door that's typical in the service industry. The model we want to get to is just having having a more stable group of employees where we're not constantly training new people in or being understaffed or short staffed.