Way back in the olden days of 2001 Ian’s Pizza was founded not only on awesome pizza by the slice but also on being a business that could be a force of good within Madison. That had to start with how its employees were treated. So once the company began turning a profit, all full-time employees started receiving 100%-paid health care. A few years later, we made a 401k with match available to everyone. And the whole staff looks forward to profit-sharing bonuses twice a year (along with those awesome “what happens at the staff party stays at the staff party” day-long staff parties…).
Really, the last piece we needed to make happen was a $10.00 minimum starting wage. The goal has always been to get people trained and to a wage of $10.00/hour as quickly as possible, but we wanted that to be in place from the moment someone was hired.
We expect a lot from the folks who work here, in the beginning and ongoing. They put in long, demanding hours, interacting with a wide variety of people (many of whom are quite colorful in a late night, after-bar kind of way). They need to be able to make judgment calls on their own in a variety of situations, managing themselves when it’s busy and when it’s slower. One night—or more—per week they’ll be in the restaurant until at least 4:00am, staffing a close shift. Working at Ian’s is not a “show up, stand around, and get some money” kind of job, and we wanted our pay to reflect that.
Ian’s Pizza on State already gave a raise to the delivery staff in July, more than doubling their starting wages. But we knew we wouldn’t be able to do that for the rest of the staff without some help. So in order to increase starting wages for everyone we have instituted a .25¢ per slice price increase — meaning a slice of cheese or pepperoni will be $3.00 and all other slices will be $4.00.
There’s a reason a $10.00/hour minimum wage is hotly debated, and that’s because it’s not cheap. A .25¢ slice increase won’t completely cover all the costs associated with the wage increase, but it helps the cause. Since we anticipate being able to find and keep employees more easily with a higher starting salary, it’s also a win for the restaurant.
Ultimately, though, we just feel that it’s the right thing to do.