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Higher wages help Bluestone Lane buck hospitality staff shortages

US boutique coffee chain has recruited 400 new staff since February 2021, with employees receiving $15 per hour nationally 

Bluestone Lane has recruited 400 new staff since February 2021 | Photo credit: Bluestone Lane

Bluestone Lane CEO Nick Stone has recruited hundreds of employees over the last eight months, at a time when staff shortages continue to impede many hospitality businesses. 

According to a Business Insider report, the coffee chain pays a competitive $15 per hour minimum wage to employees across its US stores. Meanwhile, New York City staff receive $22 per hour. 

Both wages are above double the US federal minimum wage, which is currently at $7.25 per hour. 

"Offering a competitive, and frankly a fair, hourly wage to our employees helps attract talent and improve retention, which has a direct positive correlation with business performance," said Nick Stone, CEO, Bluestone Lane. 

Stone also confirmed employees are entitled to benefits including a company-paid top-up scheme to guarantee a certain number of tips per hour. 

Staff shortages in the hospitality industry globally are becoming a serious issue following pandemic disruption. An increasing number of hospitality professionals are now considering changing careers in the face of low pay and poor career development perceptions. 

In August 2021, coffee giant Starbucks announced hourly wage increases to at least $12 across all US stores, and up to or above $15 in some markets. 

In a push to attract and retain staff, in September 2021, UK-based Costa Coffee also announced that all 14,500 of its team members in UK company-owned stores will receive a 5% pay rise. 

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