The hiring shortage sparked a variety of new initiatives by restaurant companies and their respective foundations in an effort to bring employees into their stores.
The KFC Foundation on Tuesday unveiled its latest plan, a new personal finance program called “MyChange with SaverLife.” The KFC Foundation’s new investment comes in partnership with non-profit fintech company SaverLife and aims to boost employee savings. Available to all KFC restaurant employees nationwide, the program was designed to help KFC team members build short-term savings and encourage the habit of saving money.
“The KFC Foundation offers charitable assistance programs for eligible KFC restaurant employees to help them get their GED, go to college, overcome hardship or crisis, and develop their financial literacy,” says Emma Horn, CEO of the KFC Foundation. “We created this program to equip KFC restaurant employees with valuable financial skills to create lasting savings behaviors.”
There is perhaps no better time for a show emphasizing the importance of personal savings than during a pandemic. But even in 2019, 37 percent of all Americans couldn’t cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank.
“Having an emergency fund has always been important and valuable,” says Horn. “The uncertainty that came with the pandemic highlighted the need to help equip KFC restaurant employees with resources that would help them increase their financial literacy, develop the habit of saving money, and create a short-term emergency savings fund. ”.
The program was piloted last year with the knowledge that emergency funds can keep families afloat and avoid debt in emergencies like urgent car or home repairs. In a study sponsored by the FINRA Foundation, SaverLife found that savings balances greater than just $250 were associated with increased home security, the ability to pay utility bills, and avoid high-cost loans.
“Programs like MyChange with SaverLife help us develop the financial acumen of our team members, setting them up for success in their futures, while building our organization from the ground up,” says Justin Stewart, KFC franchisee and president of the company. board of directors of the KFC Foundation. .
Employees who use the MyChange with SaverLife program receive access to the SaverLife platform and the opportunity to participate in national savings challenges, read financial education articles, participate in forums and earn points for a chance to win prizes.
Employees will be able to participate in Savings Match Challenges funded by the KFC Foundation and receive a $20 sign-up bonus. By saving at least $10 a month, employees will earn a $1-for-$1 match of up to $40 a month over a six-month period. This allows KFC employees to create a $500 short-term emergency savings fund.
“By helping KFC team members build an emergency savings fund, we’re helping them improve their overall well-being and build resilience to meet future financial challenges,” says Horn. “This program is a way to empower and equip restaurant employees with tools and resources to help them be successful and achieve their goals.”
Places to eat and drink are still missing 1.5 million jobs (12 percent), according to the Labor Office in June. With working conditions so harsh, the KFC Foundation, funded primarily by KFC franchisees, believes that this resource, like others, can attract and retain employees.
“The KFC Foundation’s charitable assistance programs are great resources for eligible KFC restaurant employees and help KFC franchisees attract and retain top talent in their restaurants,” says Horn. “We hear over and over again how grateful and proud KFC restaurant employees are to work in a place where these kinds of opportunities are available.”