Burger Chain Invests In Health Care Insurance, Sees Gains

A burger chain pays more for employees' health care insurance and, in turn, has reaped significant gains. The Wall Street Journal reports: "Four years ago, executives of Burgerville, a regional restaurant chain, agreed to pay at least 90% of health-care premiums for hourly employees who work at least 20 hours a week." According to the chain's executives, the result of this "unusual move" has led to savings "by cutting turnover, boosting sales and improving productivity. Burgerville's experience is notable for the food-service industry, where turnover is high and fewer than half of chains offer health insurance for part-time hourly employees, according to People Report, a research firm. The chains that do offer benefits pay on average 49% of the cost for employees working at least 30 hours a week, People Report says" (Needleman, 8/31).

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