By Colleen Hammond
PITTSBURGH — As Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District began resuming full operations, the business faced a pair of common problems in the final pandemic days: understaffing and low application rates.
To kill two birds with one stone, Klavon’s owners took the leap of faith and more than doubled their wages to from Pennsylvania’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. The ice cream shop announced this change on April 1.
Just after the wage increase, Klavon’s received more than 1,000 applications for hourly positions in less than a week, Klavon’s co-owner Jacob Hanchar told MSNBC on May 19.
“If we have been loyal to our employees, that pays back in terms of improving business,” said Hanchar. “We filled the 15 positions practically overnight.”
After raising employee wages to $15/hour, Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor in Pittsburgh received "well over 1,000 applications" for job openings.
Co-owner Jacob Hanchar says customer service has improved and he hasn't "noticed a difference on our bottom line."https://t.co/9GaJOSi7ef
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 19, 2021
Hanchar added this influx of applications was not the only benefit seen from the wage increase. He also said that his employees are typically in a better mood when they arrive at work now and that they face less burnout. Hanchar said this is because the stability of Klavon’s wages ensures that their employees by and large do not need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.
In addition, Hanchar also said that general morale has been lifted, and Klavon’s has seen an uptick in customers since raising wages.
“People want to support a business that’s taking care of their employees,” Hanchar told MSNBC.
Despite concerns that raising wages would increase the cost of goods, Hanchar noted that Klavon’s hasn’t needed to raise their prices and are actually saving money by having less employee turnover.