Taco Time Northwest, a local business that runs 79 restaurants around the Puget Sound region, announced a test program that will pay entry level crew members a $20 hourly wage within a limited number of its locations.
This test program, with a possibility to expand throughout the company if successful, is exclusive to its two restaurants in Issaquah, and one in North Bend. These three locations, which are currently in most need of staff support, are currently looking to fill nearly 30 positions. Taco Time also has two locations in Kent.
The company hired 300 employees to meet customer demand by this past summer yet lost 250 with the back-to-school season. Region-wide, Taco Time Northwest employs 950 people, and is seeking to hire 300 more employees to meet the current customer demands.
Taco Time says “It’s no secret” that food service and hospitality workers are in high demand. As the restaurant industry enjoyed a return to dine-in, and increased customer volume this summer, many business owners struggled to find employees to serve them. They are also concerned that the return to in-person school for college and high school students may affect a already scarce workforce.
Robby Tonkin, co-president of Taco Time Northwest believes Taco Time can flourish in this environment, and notes that “when conditions in the employment market are challenging, the best employers thrive. Organizations that understand the importance of mutual respect and appreciation will be most successful in attracting and retaining new talent in this challenging market.”
Taco Time Northwest claims it is committed to long term success for its employees offering $18 hour entry level to start, aside from the Issaquah and North Bend restaurants which are currently offering $20 per hour. All positions include a competitive benefits package with paid vacation, medical and dental insurance, 401k and more.