Jackson County Pizzeria Gives Back to Employees


Klavon says it’s a win-win for him and his employees.  “They're excited, customers are excited, and I never expected it to be this crazy."

A Jackson County restaurant known for its deep dish pizza drew in crowds Tuesday. But it's not just the menu bringing in the customers. Every cent from the day’s sales at Klavon's Pizzeria is going directly to the employees, as a holiday bonus from the boss.

The lobby was jammed. The dining room was full. The wait, up to an hour. Justin Klavon owns Klavon’s Pizzeria and Pub. He’s working just as hard as every employee, during the rush to raise holiday bonus money. Klavon says, "It's a little nerve wracking because it's a little busier than I want it just because you know, I get nervous about the food quality. You know I want it to be good. I don't like people having to wait 2 hours for food either, but it's great that they're supporters and that's awesome." The customers, are supporting a unique effort, to compensate workers. All of the money coming in to the restaurant will be divided among nearly 60. Customers like Doug Meyers, are happy to help. “I think it's a great concept. I never heard of anyplace doing that before." Says Theresa Martinez, “I think it's wonderful and it's good. It shows that our economy is doing better, and it shows that this place is being successful."

Ashley Spencer is the Hostess at Klavon’s. She’s been busy trying to keep customers moving into the dining room, and out of waiting. Spencer said, “Obviously we're going to make a lot of money today, and it's just really nice to be able to work for a business that values its employees."

Klavon says employees started spreading the word last week about the holiday bonus day. He’s pleased with the outcome. He says it’s all about bringing people together, to give back. “Normally I do like a sweatshirt for Christmas, Klavon's sweatshirts, and then I'll give them a $50 fifty dollar gift card to a retail shop. I wanted to do something different this year and it just creates great energy you know, it's awesome." Nicholas Lewis, a waiter at the restaurant, agrees. "It gives us an opportunity to serve people and kind of earn our Christmas bonus and it's really nice and it's also nice to see a lot of people come out today." Klavon says it’s a win-win for him and his employees. “They're excited, customers are excited, and I never expected it to be this crazy."

Klavon’s employs about 60 people. Justin Klavon expects each to receive about $200. He also says he plans to expand his business into Vandercook Lake next spring, creating 100 new jobs.

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