Business Owner Turns Prize into Bonus for Workers

Owner of Burger Kings who won “Franchisee of the Year” award, sold it to give money to employees as a bonus.

burger king

For those who want to think that no generosity ever comes to workers except by government mandate, perhaps this story can restore some sanity to your thinking. It was posted in the Consumerist:

When the Arizona-based owners of two dozen Burger Kings was given the “Franchisee of the Year” award from the folks at BK HQ for his restaurants’ high marks on service and cleanliness, they could have just kept the new Corvette and Rolex watch they received for the honor. Instead, the owners turned those prizes into cash that they then paid out to more than 100 employees.

“The award needed to go to the people who got us here. It was the right thing to do,” one co-owner explains to Phoenix’s 3TV. “We’re all better when we have people who work for us long term.”

In addition to selling the ‘Vette and the Rolex, the owners say they chipped in some of their own money to the $120,000 bonus pool. Some longtime employees were rewarded with bonuses as high as $5,000.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I was in shock,” one 15-year BK vet tells 3TV. “It was almost an entire month’s worth of pay for me. They made us all feel appreciated.”

Were these men being generous? In a sense, yes, because they were not compelled to give out these bonuses. But they also obviously gave away the money because they realized that, without their employees faithful help, they could never have won the prize—a prize that represented real value in terms of return buyers. (I have often come to a fast food restaurant and decided I am never returning because of attitudes or filth.)

But is the transaction purely financial? Do these business owners believe they have now paid their employees in full for their service? I doubt it. I think they probably wish they could do more. But at the same time, there is no way the government could ever make rules that legislated what kind of benefits good employees should get. The fact is all these employees did was what they were actually supposed to do, maintain a pleasant and clean environment. They did it for agreed-upon wages.

You can’t legislate this kind of thing. It has to happen spontaneously, and sometimes it does.

But one of the best parts of this story is found in the video below:

What almost brought tears to my eyes was how happy all these employees were that they had won the prize before they knew that they were going to reap any financial benefits! In fact, they all express complete pride that their boss got a new car. We get class warfare and envy preached in America every day, and yet these men and women did not let it touch their minds or hearts.

America still exists. That makes me happy.

(And I can’t help but notice that these people show a completely different attitude toward business than these people.)