FINDLAY, Ohio — You've probably heard of businesses holding a customer appreciation day. But how about an employee appreciation day?
After the tough year food businesses have weathered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the owner of Heavenly Pizza in Findlay wanted to show his workers his gratitude. Josh Elchert gave the entire day of sales on Monday back to his employees.
He says people tend to think of pizza for the sauce, crust or cheese. But the most important ingredient is sometimes lost on people.
"You can have the best pizza in the world," he said, "if you have no one here to make it, it doesn't matter."
Elchert has been running his business on the same principle for the past 11 years, respect and love for the customers and his employees. So he wanted to do something to show his appreciation for the workers.
"I put it out to our customers to really kind of show the love to our employees and they did, a lot," he said.
On a typical Monday, they do about 100 orders. This week, they did 220 orders, which translated to over $6,000 in sales and over $1,000 in tips, all of which went back to the employees. Each worker made about $78 an hour for that shift.
"No, nope, nah, I've never experienced anything like this before," worker of five years, Timmy Lemire said. "It's a big gift."
Lemire has been working at Heavenly Pizza since he was 15 years old. Five years later, he's an assistant manager and says Elchert has led by example at work and in the community.
"That kind of giving nature is why this place runs so well, works so well," Lemire said.
With a focus on delivery and takeout, Elchert's business prospered, but he says he couldn't do it without his workers. Families stuck together during the pandemic and his workers did the same.
"It's a family," Lemire said. "Find a place where you feel purpose and you won't feel like you're meaningless, you'll feel right where you're supposed to be."
The ingredients come together to create that tasty sauce but this story shows it takes someone special to mix it all together, making Heavenly Pizza one sweet place to work.