Metro deli owners close for vacation -but they don’t forget about their employees

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DES MOINES, IOWA — The Manhattan Deli in Des Moines closed for a week to allow employees to enjoy a paid week off.

Carey and Corey Hansen closed their restaurant on January 1 so employers could spend time with their families.

“We closed on our restaurant until January 10,” said Manhattan Deli owner Carey Hansen.

“So that our family could take a vacation. We’re a family-owned business, and our daughters help us run it, and we thought, well if we’re close down and taking a vacation, our employees should too.”

Austin Johnson is the deli’s manager. He said he’s been working in the restaurant industry for ten years, but this is the first time an employer has offered him a paid week off. He was able to spend time with his family.

“I just spend time, and I got a three-year-old daughter 2-month-old son and just spending time with my wife,” said Johnson.

Hansen says throughout 2021, they planned for this moment and saved money to gift employees. Over social media, customers praised their decision.

Hansen believes the restaurant industry should prioritize its employees.

“The burnout rate is high. Everybody’s understaffed. And when COVID head, it just really helped us realize what’s really important and what’s really important is that we’re treating employees the right way and giving them the same perks and benefits as any other worker in the United States. Including paid vacation.”

Although Johnson is grateful for the paid week off, he and others plan to return the favor.

“[A] ]couple [of] people are coming in with me that work here, and we’re going to do a little cleaning and stuff.”

The restaurant will reopen on January 10, 2022, at 10 a.m.

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