LaMar’s Donuts Appeals to Customers to Support 20% Price Boost for Enhanced Employee Pay & Expense Mitigation
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, UNITED STATES: Facing economic, labor and supply-chain headwinds from the lingering pandemic, Denver-based LaMar’s Donuts issued a call today for customers to support a 20% price increase for meeting rapidly rising material expenses and for increasing compensation to its 253 employees.
The price increase applies to 16 corporately affiliated locations in four of the five states in which the chain operates. Nine franchise locations are under independent management.
LaMar’s CEO Matt Joslin said the increase was of unprecedented scale in the company’s history of producing handmade donuts dating to 1933, when Kansas City baking entrepreneur Ray Lamar began producing the sweet treats as a teenager. The move represents an aggressive but essential step needed to meet escalating costs of doing business, he said, especially for maintaining a capable, motivated workforce in a time when staffing shortages plague the hospitality industry worldwide.
“LaMar’s employees are as essential as its customers,” Joslin said. “We can’t have one without the other.”
LaMar’s is well known for legions of diehard fans of its handmade products made fresh daily. Throughout the decades customers from distant states have driven hundreds of miles and farther to the nearest LaMar’s and regularly order LaMar’s t-shirts, coffee and mugs from far flung locations ranging from England to Saudi Arabia to Russia
The company often receives requests for overnight donut shipments to fans living outside its service region. The requests are usually declined due to an absence of preservatives, stabilizers and artificial flavor in the donuts.
Joslin said the company is committed to ensuring Ray Lamar’s legacy lives on for decades longer by staying competitive and becoming an industry leader in employee relations and morale.
In pursuit of those goals, “We’re urging customers to show their loyalty with their feet by visiting LaMar’s regularly in the coming months. Help us help the people who make and serve artisan donuts throughout the Midwest, plains and mountain regions.”
LaMar’s has seen a 40% rise in material and ingredient costs since 2019. Meanwhile, both foodstuffs and restaurant supplies are suffering growing shortages. For example, the company is running low on paper bags, boxes and coffee cups due to supply-chain breakdowns.
The price hike is one of three components of an employee recruitment, retention and referral plan. In addition, the company is implementing a new bonus program that rewards new hourly employees who stay six months with a total $650 bonus paid incrementally throughout the period. Bonuses will be similarly allotted for current employees with at least six months service. Also, job candidates who appear for an in-person interview will receive a $25 gift card regardless of outcome.
Further, hourly employees who refer other job candidates earn $50 simply for the referral as long as the candidate appears for an interview. If a job is offered and accepted, the referring employee will receive an additional $500 incrementally over the referred new employee’s first six months.
For the third component, the company is hiring outside cleaning contractors to maintain understaffed corporately affiliated locations monthly, an increase from quarterly cleanings – a measure designed to relieve stretched staff from some cleaning duties.