Lanesplitter Pizza is a local East Bay company that was founded 15 years ago in Berkeley by Dan & Vic. With the support of many dedicated staff and the surrounding community, Lanesplitter has grown to five locations with over 100 employees serving many happy guests.
Last night, two staff members walked out in the middle of their shift without any prior notice or grievance to their managers. At the time, there were more than twenty people working at our restaurants. All remaining staff continued to serve our hungry and thirsty guests.
We pride ourselves in providing the best workplace we can for our employees. For us that means many things including a diverse staff, breaks, paid vacation, a 401k plan, a generous meal plan, employee discounts and access to health care. The costs of this is large as you can imagine and unusual in the pizza industry.
For clarity, 25% of our staff is on our group health policy (including one of the two employees who walked out) and another 8% are eligible but have declined it for their own reasons. Our only requirement for insurance is maintaining a schedule of 30 hours per week for six months. We try to get as many people as possible to get on the insurance, not only for the health reasons, but also because any employer knows that having full time employees reduces turnover and training.
Over the years, we have employed women in every position available at Lanesplitter Pizza. While we don’t currently have a female General Manager, the most recent management vacancy was offered to a woman first but she chose to stay employed by us in a different position. Three of our past female General Managers currently work for us in a different capacity. None of them were fired or forced to resign. In addition, we have given ownership in the business to ten employees over the years and six of them are women.
Lastly, our payroll as a percentage of sales is currently over 50% of our income, and our employee benefits cost has exceeded our profit every year since 2006.
For the record, it is still the same people running Lanesplitter that have been since the day we opened. We recently sat in a meeting and averaged our collective tenure of the people in attendance and the outcome was 9.7 years per person. We will continue to strive to improve as a business and as an employer of a growing number of people.
We appreciate all of the positive feedback that we have been receiving in response to the unfortunate current situation. Please do come in and meet our employees for yourself! They are friendly, outgoing, and are here to provide you with excellent service. Thank you very much for your feedback and for reading our response.
Dan and Vic