Bojangles closed all of its roughly 280 company-owned stores on Monday and will do so again on September 13 in an effort to give roughly 8,000 employees and managers "a well-deserved break."
Employees will not be paid for those two days off, according to the AP. Bojangles spokesperson Stacey McCrary told the news outlet that many employees have been working overtime lately and that they would benefit from two days off. The brand will let employees work additional hours if they want. The closures affect about 35 percent of Bojangles' system across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
“We appreciate everything our dedicated team has done for Bojangles this past year,” said CEO Jose Armario in a statement. “From navigating a global pandemic to adjusting to new safety measures to picking up shifts for those unable to come in for work, we’ve asked, and they’ve delivered. But this hasn’t been easy, and we know many people are physically and emotionally drained, so we hope these extra two days off will provide rest and refreshment.”
The Southern chicken chain described workers as its "most vital asset" and said the move is in response to "industry wide labor shortages and other stresses put on its employees who’ve worked hard through the pandemic." The company added that it will roll out additional benefits soon to further support the health and well-being of its workers.
On the final business day of June, there were a record-high 10.1 million job openings in the U.S., with accommodations and food services accounting for a large portion, according to Black Box Intelligence. Turnover rates have increased exponentially and voluntary quits are at an all-time high. Black Box reported that the quick-service industry saw 135 percent turnover in 2019, compared to 144 percent turnover in June.
On these two days off, Bojangles is encouraging its workers to "rest and recharge."
“We apologize for any inconvenience this creates for our customers, but we hope they’ll stop by Tuesday through Sunday, and all other Mondays to be greeted with the same Southern hospitality and smiles we’re known for – perhaps even bigger after a day off,” Armario said.