California Jersey Mike's Subs offering new hires up to $10k amid generous unemployment benefits

'We're going to have to run a very efficient business to make this work...' co-owner Brett Johanson told Fox News.

Amid a shortage of workers to fill key positions, a chain sandwich shop in California is offering a $10,000 incentive for an assistant manager in an effort to attract qualified candidates.

The owner of a Jersey Mike's Subs location slated to open in Santa Cruz, California, located about 75 miles south of San Francisco, said the position pays $18 to $20 per hour. It has 15 to 20 positions it needs to fill before it can open its doors this fall. 

For other positions, such as shift leaders, the company is offering an extra $5,000 and an extra $500 for full and part-time employees. Sandwich shop co-owner Brett Johanson told Fox News the $10,000 for an assistant manager will be paid in three installments to be completed within the new hire's first year on the job. 

Another reason for the boost in pay is to help employees with the notoriously high cost of living in Northern California, he said. 

"We're going to have to run a very efficient business to make this work but I think we all need to adapt to this climate for our businesses [to be] successful," he said. "If this ends up being a shift that ends up helping people better to be able to afford the places they live in and work, then... that's a positive development."

As of Friday, Johanson said he's received several applications from well-qualified candidates. He hasn't conducted any interviews yet. 

Hotels and restaurants are struggling to find employees willing to come back to work, with some places raising wages to entice potential workers. 


Larges companies like McDonald's, Walmart and Amazon have boosted worker pay amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon is seeking to hire 75,000 people, and is willing to give $100 for new hires who are already vaccinated for COVID-19. The company will also offer a separate $1,000 sign-on bonus to attract new workers in many parts of the country.

In 2020, Amazon hired 500,000 people to keep up with a surge of orders during the pandemic as more people stayed home and shopped online.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.