Perks Every Restaurant Owner Should Give To Their Staff

Benefits that go beyond the table

Restaurants are stepping up their ‘perks’ game in a huge way this year to compete with the growing population of Seattle, 3,733,580 to be exact which was clocked in as of 2015. Although restaurant owners are unable to offer perks like sleeping pods and slippery slides like Google, they are looking at smarter ways to improve employee retention and talent acquisition through retirement savings programs.

One service shaking up the industry is Vault, a fintech startup founded by a Former JP Morgan financial advisor Randy Fernando who is on a mission to solving retirement for small businesses. Vault’s investment portfolio management tool invests the money on behalf of the employee, making it easy for both the owners and their staff to participate with ease.  

Over 72% of small business employees have no retirement plan available through their company.”

A study done by shows that there will be a large increase in food service jobs in Washington from 2016 to 2026. As displayed below, there will be a 12.6% increase from 2016 to 2026. 

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We spoke with several restaurant owners in Seattle and found the new $15 an hour minimum wage legislation passed by Seattle City Council and signed into law by Mayor Murray has made it even more difficult to keep the doors open. Many have started making the decision to implement a 20% service fee and eliminate tipping all together to better manage costs. These restaurants include: El Gaucho, Tutta Bella, Aqua by El Gaucho, Tom Douglas, Ram, and Ethan Stowell Restaurants to name a few.

Even though retirement plans come at a cost, they can also provide significant tax advantages for business owners. If a business offers a plan with employer contributions, those contributions can be tax-deductible as a business expense. In fact, the very act of creating certain types of plans can provide business owners with additional tax credits.

Vault offers some of their plans with a monthly fee, but also have packages that are geared toward the service industry that are completely free to the business owner.

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A commonality for all restaurant owners we surveyed at EatSeattle are as follows:

  • All wanted a way to increase employee retention and satisfaction.
  • All wanted a way to easily manage their employees benefits package.
  • All wanted something that was quick and saved them time.

Seattle has become a food and tech meca of the world attracting the best breed of talent in all industries making it even harder to keep talent for an extended amount of time. With this in mind, Employees want these benefits, and business owners risk losing valuable members of their team by not offering them. Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist and nationally-recognized expert in retirement security, goes as far as suggesting that the cost of retirement plans could ultimately be less than the cost of losing employees.

“If employers would really calculate in a systematic way how much turnover costs to them, they would pay more attention to clever ways of compensating workers”

As an EatSeattle reader, we’ve provided you with an exclusive early access code “eatseattle” to start your retirement plan. There is no fee to get started, no paperwork to sign and Vault proudly acts as the fiduciary to its small business customers and their employees.

Find your plan in 60 seconds:  Get me inside! Read about the plan details here.


About Vault
Vault enables small businesses to offer simple and affordable retirement savings plans. Business owners can receive a plan recommendation in under sixty seconds and start enrolling their employees within minutes.

Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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