How to Help Your Restaurant Employees Vote This Election Season

Voting on Election Day may be the toughest ask for restaurant employees. Reliance on hourly pay, and working long and odd hours often stand in the way. But, that shouldn’t stop civic-minded employees from voting.

Restaurants around the country are helping their employees find ways to make it to the polls this election season. Here are some of the ways they’re doing it.

Paid Time Off

A number of states require businesses to give employees time off to go vote. However, this time off is often not paid. Especially in restaurants, where labor is tediously hard to find.

Giving paid time off to employees may seem like a scary idea at first. But, there are restaurants around the country which have come with creative solutions to using PTO as an incentive to vote without taking the entire day off of work.

Cava, a Middle Eastern fast-casual chain restaurant with over 70 locations nationally, is giving employees two hours of PTO to go vote this Tuesday. Hopewell Brewing Co. in Chicago, Illinois is giving their employees three hours of PTO. Other restaurants such as Boba Guys, a bubble tea chain in California, isn’t paying PTO, but will reward their employees with an extra hour of pay for going to vote.

Offer Delivery Specials

Election Day can be one of the busiest days for a restaurant. Groups want to host watch parties, and individuals want to drink the night away.

Instead of incentivizing patrons from coming to your restaurant, give them a delivery deal that’s too good to pass up. This will help alleviate some of the extra pressure on your service staff caused by giving time off to go vote. If you know your staff will return to full strength at a certain time of the day, end your delivery special then and offer some other special to your customers.


Voting carpools are a great way to make sure your employees have a chance to vote. Encourage those employees who typically work late shifts to ride to a polling station together. This can also help build teamwork and help your employees bond.

In Sacramento, Kevin Dowell, a former bartender and current marketing manager for Ford’s Gin, is renting a van to drive bartenders who are too tired from their late shifts to polling places so they can vote.

If you don’t have an employee who can head-up a carpool effort, offer to give employees rides yourself. It will show them that you care about things that matter to them, and help build a stronger bond between you and your team.


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