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Shake Shack rolls out 4-day workweek to attract managers

Business Insider logo Business Insider 1/14/2020 Kate Taylor

Passersby walk in front of the Shake Shack restaurant in the Manhattan borough of New York.© Keith Bedford/Reuters Passersby walk in front of the Shake Shack restaurant in the Manhattan borough of New York.

Shake Shack is using a four-day work week to win over managers as restaurant chains battle for employees.

During a presentation on Tuesday at the ICR Conference in Orlando, Florida, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti said the chain has rolled out a four-day work week for managers at a third of its locations.

"It's never been harder," to attract, retain, and find high-quality employees, Garutti said. According to Garutti, the four-day work week has been an "incredible competitive advantage."

In November, Garutti said on a call with investors that the chain was looking to expand the four-day work week to more locations. On Tuesday, Garutti said that the company is not yet sure if it will roll out the four-day work week at all locations.

Shake Shack is not the only restaurant chain testing out new ways to hire and retain talent. Taco Bell recently announced it would test a $100,000 salary for the general managers of certain company-owned locations later this year. Starbucks has been rolling out new mental-health benefits for all employees, including a subscription to the meditation app Headspace.

CEOs of TGI Fridays and Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, also cited labor as a top challenge in 2020 during presentations and conversations at the ICR Conference. As certain restaurants add new benefits and boost wages, other chains will be forced to follow in their footsteps to compete.

"It's a domino effect," Bart Shuldman, CEO of back-of-house automation service BOHA! by TransAct, told Business Insider on Monday.

"The restaurant next door is going to say, well, my people want to go work there because they're going to get $50,000 a year in wages," Shuldman continued. "It's the beginning. It's going to be the story of 2020 and 2021."

Related video: More companies switching to a four-day work week (provided by GoBankingRates)

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