Phoenix, Ariz. (KTVK) — Burger King employees in Arizona were happy to hear their boss won the company’s national “Franchisee of the Year” award. They never imagined that they, too, would reap some of the benefits.
Thanks to highly rated customer service reviews and corporate inspections, Barnett Management won the award for the company’s 24 Burger King locations across the state.
The company gave owner Tom Barnett a new Corvette and a Rolex watch.
“We joked with him, asking if we could take it for a drive,” Eric Tejeda, a 15-year employee, told 3TV. He worked his way up from cook to a supervisor of several restaurants.
His boss went a step further. Barnett and the other franchise owners sold the car and watch, added more of their own money to the pot, and divided it up among their employees.
More than 100 Burger King employees received bonuses, which ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
In all, they gave out $120,000 to the staff.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I was in shock,” Charity Callahan, a 15-year employee, told 3TV. “It was almost an entire month’s worth of pay for me. They made us all feel appreciated.”
“For him to give us that was really emotional,” echoed Sandy Olson, who also started as a cook and worked her way up to manager.
“It was great to have the extra money to make the family happy,” Tejeda said.
“The award needed to go to the people who got us here. It was the right thing to do,” franchise co-owner Shelley Krispin told 3TV. “We’re all better when we have people who work for us long-term.”