A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Miami has gone to a 3-day workweek.
As Chick-fil-A restaurants are not open on Sundays, they have created 2 groups—referred to as pods. Each pod works 3 consecutive 13- to 14-hour days, and then has 4 days off. They also have one seven-day stretch of time off per month, and rotate weekends off.
In addition to the employees that are in the pods, they have other employees that follow more traditional schedules.
The 3-day workweek appeals to many workers. While other quick serve restaurants are looking for workers, this Chick-fil-A received 429 applications for a recent job posting. Many potential employees wanted the 3-day workweek.
Lucia’s Pizza in St. Louis is also trying a 3-day workweek to attract employees.
This post is based on the Nation’s Restaurant News article, How One Chick-Fil-A Restaurant Is Making A Three-Day Workweek Work, by Holly Petre, October 10, 2022; the QSR Magazine article, A Chick-fil-A Operator Finds Magic with Three-Day Workweek, by Danny Klein, October 19, 2022; and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: D. Hurst/Alamy Stock Photo
1. What is the appeal of the 3-day workweek?
Guidance: Although three, 13-hour days may not be for everyone, many potential workers see it as attractive. The 4 days off each week allow workers to do other things that can’t normally be done with a 5-day-a-week job.
It also offers workers a predetermined schedule. Many quick serve restaurants don’t guarantee a work schedule for certain days of the week, and workers have to wait for a schedule to come out before they can plan other activities. The hope is that this will lead to better work/life balance.
2. What operational advantages are gained from the 3-day workweek?
Guidance: One of the benefits cited is that it allows the pods to work together—allowing them to build teamwork. In many cases, a group of employees would just be getting everything running well when many of the workers would have their day end. This new approach allows the pod to keep their rhythm going.
It also makes scheduling easier with the pod approach, as managers are not trying to piece together employees for a shift. This approach also allows the restaurants to schedule the pods further into the future. Consistency of scheduling appeals to many workers.
3. What operational problems are presented by the 3-day workweek?
Guidance: Long days can lead to fatigue. With fatigue comes mistakes. So, quality may suffer. Also, fatigue can lead to more worker injuries depending on the industry.