Here’s proof that great bosses lead by example.
Bruce Kroll, the owner of a Culver’s in Platteville, Wisconsin, did something that many others in his position probably wouldn’t. When a raging blaze completely tore through his restaurant this past November, his 40 employees weren’t sure if they would still have a job, Channel 3000 reports.
Clearly, Kroll had enough to worry about. And he could have easily told his staff to find other work. Besides, his insurance would keep his employee’s paychecks coming for two months.
His staff understood the predicament. As Culver’s employee Cole Cooper told the TV station, “What the owner could have done is he could have said, ‘Hey, you can find another place of employment.'”
But in a stunning display of generosity, Kroll decided to keep his employees on the payroll using money from his own pocket. As the restaurant went through six whole months of renovations, he reportedly spent a whopping $144,000 to continue paying his staff.
And not only did he give his employees their wages, the generous boss asked that his employees pay it forward as the restaurant chain underwent repairs.
“We asked that, everybody that could, go out and volunteer their time whether it be for a charity or some other organization that needed help,” Kroll told WKOW.
And volunteer they did. According to THonline, while sporting the Culver’s uniform, some of the workers served Christmas dinner at a local church, while others volunteered at a kids’ camp. Still others helped out the fire department.
Emily Allen, an employee of Kroll’s for nine years said, “Bruce is one of the most caring bosses I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
She added, “He is one of those bosses who gets dirty just like the rest of us. When he shows up for work, he’s in the kitchen flipping ButterBurgers, taking customers’ orders, delivering food or mopping the floor just like the rest of us.”
Channel 3000 reports that Kroll was able to afford paying his employees after the fire because of the strong profits earned from his Culver’s in Dubuque, Iowa. But really, his actions were a no-brainer.
“It is just a building and Culver’s of Platteville is much more than that,” Kroll said. “It is the people and not the building and we didn’t lose the people and so why should we allow the fire to cause that to happen?”
Fortunately for all, the restaurant is now back open.