Restaurants plan to incentivize vaccinations

Restaurant operators are increasingly looking to incentivize vaccinations for their workers, according to a recent survey.

Half (50 per cent) of operators plan to encourage and provide incentives for their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a survey from BlackBox Intelligence. Meanwhile, 39 per cent plan to encourage vaccinations but not to provide incentives themselves. Just five per cent said they will not require or encourage vaccination among employees.

What these vaccination incentives might look like varies.

About one-third of the operators planning incentives say they will look to offer a one-time cash payment, while about five per cent are paying for the cost of the vaccine, and over 10 per cent are offering more work hours.

Overall, the majority plan to offer pay. 53 per cent of companies who said they will provide incentives are offering paid time off to specifically get the vaccine.

Once employees are vaccinated, most companies (75 per cent) do not intend to change their current pandemic safety protocols. Masks look set to stick around: only a very a small percentage will no longer require their employees to wear masks or socially distance. All limited-service companies surveyed by Black Box said their vaccinated employees will still be required to wear masks, and all full-service restaurants said vaccinated employees still be required to social distance.

These results fall generally in line with public opinion on vaccination. More than two-thirds of the U.S. population say they would get the jab if they were compensated, according to a survey from Blackhawk Ventures.

Restaurant operators are far from the only business managers looking to provide perks for employees who get vaccinated against the virus.

Many large-scale companies like Marriott Hotels, Trader Joe’s, and Wells Fargo have begun offering paid time off as an incentive, while Starbucks has introduced a similar measure.

Meanwhile, in addition to giving employees up to four hours of paid time off to elect to get vaccinated, Krispy Kreme has announced it is giving away up to one glazed doughnut per day for free to anyone who comes in with a COVID-19 vaccination card until the end of 2021.