An Arkansas restaurant is paying student workers to do their homework in an effort to keep them on staff.
Xplore Lakeside, which has struggled to retain employees as applicants have become selective, is providing compensation for student employees to do their homework at the restaurant for one hour per shift in the hopes of improving its retention rate. The Hot Springs restaurant, which is down approximately 20 employees, said it has struggled to attract applicants.
"We've tried employee referrals, thousands of dollars of online ads and newspapers," owner Greg Jones told KARK.
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Jones says that his executive chef came up with the idea of providing compensation for homework time after many student employees said they struggled to balance the demands of the restaurant and their schoolwork.
"I said, 'How about I make you a deal? You guys can sit upstairs for an hour before your shift starts on the clock," said executive chef Drake Bielert. "'Do your schoolwork, I'll feed you, and then when you're done with your hour, you can come downstairs.'"
Xplore has incorporated this approach for three weeks, and Bielert claimed it helped retain two student workers.
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Several businesses are turning to wage hikes and bonuses in an effort to retain workers amid fears of a labor shortage. The number of job openings in the United States reached a record 10.9 million in July, figures released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed.
Xplore Lakeside did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Original Location: Arkansas restaurant pays student workers to do homework before shift
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