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Stuart Varney on FOX Business says Layne's Chicken Fingers is “Doing Exactly the Right Thing”

Layne’s CEO Garrett Reed tells the Varney & Co host why they have chosen to offer the opportunity to earn a living wage.

So many people were left scratching their heads after reading a Wall Street Journal article released earlier this week citing that Garrett Reed, CEO of Layne’s Chicken Fingers, pays his teenage store manager a salary of $50,000 per year. 

Stuart Varney, host of the FOX Business show Varney & Co, was among those people. 

Varney invited Reed onto his show to discuss the shocking salary for a “youngster,” telling Reed “now let me get this straight here… you’ve got one worker, 19 years old, who you’re offering $50,000 to be a restaurant manager, a store manager. What about the rest of the workers, are they getting an attractive offer as well?”

Reed didn’t hesitate, explaining that as a company, they have decided to provide all of their employees with a “learning wage” first, which is earned during the period that employees are simply learning the ropes of the business. The hope is that a few will stand out and begin to earn a “living wage”. Just as Jason Cabrera, Layne’s Chicken Fingers general manager, did. 

“Jason started with us when he was 16 and was just a $9.50 per hour employee. He started with a lot of other people, he showed the potential, the work ethic, the drive, he understood our culture and our values. And when the opportunity arose, he took advantage of it,” Reed said.

While some think Layne’s has lost it, Reed is determined to do the right thing by these teens.  When asked by Varney if he felt this “living wage” would deter young people from going to college, he replied, “They’re looking at a decision to get into $50,000, $100,000 debt to go to college, and then maybe get out and make $50,000. I like to tell these kids that they can become a general manager, make really good money and then the ultimate goal is to let them own their own franchise businesses at some point.”

By the end of the interview, Varney was a believer. “That’s just great, I think you’re doing exactly the right thing.”  

Watch the full interview here.

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