An American hamburger chain is coming to Victoria with the aim of doing it right: Eliminate tipping and pay your employees a respectable minimum wage.
The Canadian owners of the new Johnny Rocket franchise coming to Victoria say they have reverse engineered the business plan, and have eliminated or reorganized all the extraneous expenses. This allows them to invest in their most valuable asset, their staff. The starting wage will be $15/hour, and employees can earn as much as $23/hour. Benefits will also be included.
This has been previously tried in Parksville with the Smoke ‘n Waters restaurant. It failed, and tipping was returned the menu. According to the owner of that restaurant, the clientele demanded the ability to personally decide who was and wasn’t worth it.
South of the border in Seattle, all business owners will be forced to pay employees a minimum of $15/hour by 2021. According to this article in the Seattle Times, the anticipated negative impact of a substantial increase in the cost of living has not materialized.
Many countries in Europe do not have tipping, and employers pay living wages to staff. In fact, servers in Canada and the US are one of the few regulated professions where an employees earnings are assessed and awarded based on customer satisfaction (aka tip).
The new owners of the Johnny Rocket franchise in Victoria feel they can do it. With only 50 jobs available, hundreds of applications have already rolled in. Johnny Rockets will be opening in two locations in Victoria: One in The Bay Centre and another at the Hillside Mall in the food court.
Here is their official press release:
JR Canada Restaurant Group, Ltd., the Canadian developers of the iconic American burger chain Johnny Rockets, gets set to open three locations in British Columbia in the next few weeks. The Johnny Rockets Canadian team has announced that the starting hourly rate for employees will be $15 an hour – almost four dollars per hour MORE than the current minimum wage in BC.
“We’re making the starting wage $15 an hour here in British Columbia for several reasons,” said Lewis Gelmon, President and CEO of JR Canada Restaurant Group Ltd., who lives in Victoria. “We want people to WANT to work here, we recognize the importance of their role in our overall success and we want them to stick around – and to do that, you have to appreciate them.”
Johnny Rockets is opening two restaurants in Victoria (at the Bay Centre and Hillside Mall), and one in downtown Vancouver (755 Nelson Street @ Granville) between June and mid-July, with another Vancouver location under development and slated to open later this year on West Broadway and Oak Street, near Vancouver General Hospital.
“Aside from great, custom-made burgers, and arguably the best milkshakes in the world, Johnny Rockets is also known for its customer experience and iconic image in high profile locations around the world and its finally time for Vancouver and Victoria, two of Canada’s most beautiful cities to join in, it’s a perfect fit,” said Gelmon.
Indeed, when it opens, the Vancouver location will be the 400th Johnny Rockets restaurant worldwide. Johnny Rockets is best known for the last 30 years for its delicious burgers and hand-spun shakes, and is a hugely recognized brand in the United States, the Middle East, Asia, South America, Europe and Africa.
Johnny Rockets team members can expect to be trained in a wide range of positions including working the grill, serving customers and prepping orders. For a rewarding career, apply online through their website. For more information on Johnny Rockets in Canada, visit www.johnnyrockets.ca.
About JR Canada Restaurant Group Ltd.
JR Canada Restaurant Group Ltd. is the International Master Developer of Johnny Rockets in Canada. Johnny Rockets is an international restaurant chain that offers high quality, innovative menu items including fresh, 100% Canadian beef cooked-to-order hamburgers, chicken, crispy fries and rich, delicious milkshakes. This dynamic lifestyle brand offers friendly service to the chain’s signature atmosphere of relaxed, comfortable and casual enjoyment. Founded in 1986, Johnny Rockets operates more than 380 locations in 30 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.johnnyrockets.ca.