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Forthcoming Tupelo Honey Cafe Is Increasing Employee Wages and Benefits

The restaurant is opening in Sandy Springs this summer

Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville.
Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville.

Rapidly expanding Southern chain Tupelo Honey Cafe, which is opening a Sandy Springs outpost this summer, is making a pledge to improve quality of life for its employees. The chain has announced increased starting pay for all workers, from $10 to $11 an hour, and a benefits package that includes paid time off.

Tupelo Honey now has 12 locations across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. In addition to the forthcoming Sandy Springs restaurant, the chain is making its first venture outside the Southeast with an outpost in Denver. So far, it's implemented the new wage standard in "select markets," and it expects the higher pay to take affect across the entire company by the end of June. Tupelo Honey vice president of human resources Caroline Skinner said the company is investing an additional $500,000 in pay and benefits for existing employees this year.

"We are committed to paying and incentivizing our team members above the industry average"

"Cultivating an environment where team members are valued, respected, and inspired translates to our customers and supports our commitment to a positive guest experience," Skinner said in a prepared statement. "We are committed to paying and incentivizing our team members above the industry average in order to attract and retain the type of talent that propels our growth forward."

The company says its $11 standard increases pay for nearly 20 percent of Tupelo Honey's current employees. The new benefits package also includes paid volunteer hours, "free or low-cost health care options" for full-time employees, culinary tuition reimbursement, and a "commitment to maintaining hours for full-time team members."

Tupelo Honey's Sandy Springs restaurant will host a job fair Monday, May 23, through Friday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant is taking up residence at 4600 Roswell Rd., Building C.