A number of US foodservice chains have announced appreciation pay for workers serving consumers during the coronavirus crisis.

Chipotle Mexican Grill has joined the likes of Starbucks and Amazon and announced it will be giving hourly workers a 10 percent pay increase until mid April.

“This assistance pay is simply one of the ways that we’re expressing our appreciation for those who are willing and able to continue working during this time,” said Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol. 

The California-based fast casual chain, along with the rest of the industry, has shifted to an off-premise model as states across the US order the closure of dine-in operations.

In addition to a pay increase, Niccol said the company has expanded its emergency leave benefits to accommodate those directly affected by COVID-19. Other chains have done the same including McDonald’s.

Here in New Zealand the situation is a little different, all foodservice restaurants have closed for the lockdown, including takeaway operations. Despite this Burger King has agreed to pay workers 80 percent of their wages while they are unable to work. McDonald’s has taken a similar approach, paying staff 80 percent of their average earnings over the past month.

Restaurant Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Carls Jr and Taco Bell), however, have committed to pay the equal of 100 percent of staff’s average earnings over the past four weeks. 

The $150,000 cap on the government wage subsidy scheme was lifted, meaning larger firms will be able to claim it for all their staff if they experience a 30 percent revenue drop in any month.