Ten employees have given 15 years of service to the PB&J Restaurant group in Kansas City, Missouri. They have earned the distinction of 15 anniversaries with the company and rode off on July 4th on their brand-spankin’ new Harley Davidson motorcycles courtesy of the CEO. Now THAT is an employee loyalty program, business owners everywhere (our’s included) should take notice!
NBC41 KSHB spoke to the CEO and two employees: Michael Hampton and Walter Mansfield.
“Fifteen years is a long time, and instead of a check or watch or something, this Harley is like the coolest thing you can get,” said Paul Khoury, chief executive officer of PB&J Restaurant Group.
When so many companies due to COVID19 panic and shutdown orders shuttered their doors and sent employees home Michael Hampton told KSHB it was an easy decision to stick with PB&J. “I wanted to help however I could, so if that meant going on and putting on masks and gloves and running food out to people’s car, it was just the way we had to do it for a while,” Hampton said.
Mansfield’s story was similar, “During the pandemic, it was difficult,” he said. “We would help with the carry-out portion because they were still doing the to-go food. So it was interesting going in there, packing up the to-go food with a mask on all that other stuff.”
Handing Out Harley Keys
According to The Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Khoury said,
“the idea of the giveaway was a complete accident. It all started years ago when one of PB&J’s first employees asked what he would get if he worked there for a year, five, or ten years. Khoury’s answer was always more vacation days. When the employee asked what he would get if he was still there at 15 years, an exasperated Khoury asked him what he wanted, and he said a motorcycle. Thus, the idea was born to give employees motorcycles after 15 years. So, every year Khoury closes all the restaurants and the team members and their families meet in Kansas City, to celebrate the Fourth of July and hold the awards ceremony for the Harley giveaway. With the 10 Harleys presented this year, Khoury will have presented 92 sets of keys since the start of the company.”
The fact that Khoury and PB&J have been able to build such loyalty in a Restaurant management company is to have Ninety-two employees hit the 15-year mark and ride away into the sunset atop their very own Harley is a testament to how companies can build loyalty and a sense of family and belonging. And what a better symbol of that than the ultimate expression of brotherhood. Even during a media-fueled pandemic panic that crippled so many businesses, this proves the old adage correct: Employees don’t quit businesses, they quit their management, and they stay for the same reason.