O’FALLON, Mo. — Lion’s Choice announced a new incentive program to reward student employees who work hard in the classroom and in their restaurants.

It’s the Thursday lunch rush at the O’Fallon, Missouri Lion’s Choice. The employees are busy seasoning and serving. General manager Ruth Biondo is on the hunt for new hires.

“It’s always hiring for quality, not quantity. Making sure you’re doing a good interview process, getting those quality employees that want to be here. And you want to make an environment you want to be in,” Biondo said.

Lion’s Choice just launched a new “Educational Bonus Program” for high school and college students. Here’s how it works: High school students are eligible for a bonus of $200 per semester if they take a minimum of five credit hours, work at least 10 hours a week, hold a 3.5 GPA and receive a 4.0 work review. High schoolers who meet the same requirements but have a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49 are eligible for a bonus of $100 per semester.

College students are eligible for a bonus of $300 per semester if they take a minimum of nine credit hours, work at least 10 hours a week, hold a 3.5 GPA and receive a 4.0 work review. College students who meet the same requirements but have a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49 are eligible for a bonus of $150 per semester.

“We’re very flexible with schedules. Only allowing them to work when they’re available to work. Making sure they’re performing in school well,” Biondo said. “Adjusting that if they’re struggling in school and work is too much. It’s about finding that equal balance for them.”

Biondo said so far, the company’s received positive feedback on the program.

“Hopefully the word of mouth will spread to the other employees or their friends at school. Hey, you can make easy cash just by going to work, having good grades, and doing a good job,” he said.

Francis Howell North High School teacher Rachel Pirrone said she thinks the program could nudge students to join the workforce.

“A good amount of my students are working, but there’s also a good amount that aren’t. They think for how much time I’m putting in, I’m not getting paid enough,” Pirrone said. “They don’t really see the benefit. I think this could be helpful.”

Any students interested in working for Lion’s Choice and participating in this new program can apply here.



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