At Deep Ellum’s Deep Sushi, safety has been top of mind for management since restaurants were allowed to reopen their doors.
Still as capacity increased, manager Andrew Chung said it was tough to convince some employees to come back
“No matter how much we tried to hire, the quality and the quantity of the people that wanted to come into the restaurant, or just in general in this industry, didn’t feel safe,” said Chung.
They felt vaccines could be a game changer.
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But as they first became available, waitlists and long lines proved to be a deterrent for some, especially young staff who didn’t feel the need to make getting the vaccine a priority.
So Deep Sushi offered an incentive, a $50 payment per shot.
“It was something that made me want to do it sooner rather than later. Just to get that cash. Why not, right?” said server Daniel Brookshire.
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Brookshire said he just received his second dose.
Deep Sushi isn’t the only employer looking for ways to motivate rather than require employees to get the vaccine.
In a recent survey from the Dallas Regional Chamber, 13% of employers said they would incentivize employees to get the vaccine.
One in four said they'd encourage it by offering PTO.
Another survey from Arizona State University and the Rockefeller Foundation found that among mid to large-sized companies, about 60% said they'd provide an incentive to motivate employees to get the vaccine.
Chung said 90% of Deep Sushi’s employees are now at least one dose down, making the incentive a small investment they believe will have a big payoff.
"It's the safety for our staff and the safety for our customers as well,” said Chung.