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Deli in Des Moines gives workers a full week of paid time off for start of 2022

Manhattan Deli will be closed through Jan. 10 while its employees take some much-needed time off of work.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Usually, the Manhattan Deli has a pretty steady flow of traffic—but on Tuesday the deli was closed. However, it may not be for the reason you think. 

Owner Carey Hansen wanted to do something special for her employees for the beginning of 2022. 

"We thought if we are going to take time off, our team can as well, and we wanted to pay them," Hansen said.

Deli manager Austin Johnston was surprised with the gesture, especially since acts like this are unusual in the foodservice industry.

"We're all looking at it and seeing when we're going to be off. Like, 'Wow, they're giving us a week off in January?' And then they came in and said, Yeah, that week off is paid. Like what? Because, yeah, working in the food industry that's rare to nonexistent," Johnston said.

After the pandemic hit the restaurant industry in full force, many workers were left burnt out, leaving serval restaurants understaffed. This is a problem Hansen hopes to avoid.

"We just realized that it's maybe just time to make a change and realize that the way that we treat our employees and our staff and the industry needs to change. We just wanted to be great owners and great bosses and set an example," Hansen said.

After this gracious act, Austin recognizes the bosses at Manhattan Deli are one of a kind. 

"Sometimes it's hard to find in bosses, people that actually care, because a lot of food industry places our high turnover. It's like, oh, we can find somebody else, but they actually care about everybody that works there."

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