Short-term solutions to minimum wage hike could hurt businesses: Freshii founder

Short-term solutions to minimum wage hike could hurt businesses: Freshii founder

Freshii CEO Matthew Corrin says his eatery implemented a number of solutions ahead of Ontario’s minimum wage hike rather than rely on short-term cost-cutting that could compromise its culture in the long run.

He says when hourly workers are offered roughly the same pay by a number of employers, it’s important to differentiate a company beyond wages to entice people to work there.

Corrin, who did not specify any individual companies, says he tries to imagine how an employee who received paid breaks and food discounts would feel if those were taken away when making business decisions.

In Ontario, Restaurant Brands International Inc. — the parent company of Tim Hortons — has faced criticism after some Tim Hortons franchise owners clawed back employee benefits to help absorb the Jan. 1 minimum wage bump to $14.

Corrin says Freshii took some steps to help their franchisees offset the increase, including buying some ingredients pre-prepped rather than chopping them in store and raising prices on some items in the fall.

His comments come as the company released preliminary fourth quarter and full-year results that show same-store sales grew 5.5 per cent in its 2017 financial year.

 

Companies in this story (TSX:FRII, TSX:QSR)

The Canadian Press

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