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Local restaurant pays employees to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Businesses all over the country have been dishing out freebies and bonuses trying to encourage employees to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

“Because if they’re thinking about it, maybe that little bit more push will get them over the top, and they’ll go out and get the shot,” owner of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Panama City Beach location, Allen Cotton said.

Family sports restaurant Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is offering staff a $100 dollar gift card to Target, Walmart, or Amazon. All they have to do is come in with proof of getting the shot.

“It would be great. Like I’m always in Walmart. I’m always in Target, so it’s perfect,” Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Server Rita Jordan said.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s parent company launched the incentive system-wide about a month ago as a way of helping team members and guests feel more comfortable when dining.

“We need to get past this living in fear. If more people have had the shot, maybe they won’t live in fear, and we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” Cotton said.

Jordan said she was on the edge about the vaccine before the incentive.

“I personally have been waiting to see, but now with this incentive, it’s probably going to push me to do it even earlier than just probably sitting around to wait,” Jordan said.

Employees said they’re a tight-knit bunch at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. Like family, they’re trying to keep each other safe. And this is just one way they’re doing that.

“I want everybody to be healthy. I want everyone to show love out there to each other and just to take care of this environment,” Jordan said.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Panama City Beach has nearly 30 employees. Cotton said none of them have come in with their paperwork yet.

“But our demographic of employee is the younger generation. They’re the ones that think oh I don’t need to get the shot. Their average age is about 24,” Cotton explained.

Cotton said he may raise the dollar amount on the incentive if it gets things rolling quicker.

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