March drew to a close, Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District
found itself without enough workers for the upcoming spring and summer
rush, and it certainly did not have enough workers to open the shop to
its desired seven days a week schedule.
on March 30, the parlor announced it would more than double the
starting wage for the roles, going from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour, a
scoop that seemed to captivate workers throughout the region and one
that earned a significant amount of local media coverage.
"It was instant, overnight. We got thousands of applications that poured in," Maya Johnson,
general manager of Klavon's, said. "It was very overwhelming, very.
People were coming in by the next day that it broke on the news, they
were coming in, filling out paper applications. I was doing on-the-spot
the announcement, Johnson said the ice cream parlor would see a few
applicants per position, but many wouldn't show for the interview.
Klavon's, which has existed at its original location at 2801 Penn Ave.
since 1923, now has the staffing it needs to open every day this summer,
filling all of the 16 positions it needed to do so over a period of a
Johnson attributes that feat, in part, to the well-advertised "living wage" that's now offered to all who work at the parlor.
going to get quality work from people when people know that they are
going to make a good paycheck," Johnson said. "They're going to put
their best foot forward in order to keep their position and they're
going to appreciate you."
That's the case for Marlea Pavlick
a 20-year-old part-time server and bartender at the recently opened The
G.O.A.T. Sports Bar in Cranberry, which is guaranteeing all
front-of-house workers, such as servers and bartenders, a $20 an hour
minimum wage. If a front-of-house worker doesn't average $20 an hour at
the end of the week when factoring in their tips earned over the same
period, The G.O.A.T. Sports Bar will pay the workers the difference.
These workers will be paid the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.83 an
hour by the sports bar if they make at least $20 an hour with their tips
throughout the week, however.
According to Pavlick, that makes all the difference and especially during periods where restaurant activity can be slow.
feel way more motivated; I don't dread going into work the way I did at
other places," Pavlick said. "The people are way more willing to do the
work when they're getting paid for it. They're way more willing to help
you out and run food for you and do all these extra things because
they're getting paid very well and they know they are, they know they're
going to walk away with at least $20 an hour."