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End of Year Recap – 2021

Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year, Tupelo Family!


At the end of the year, we like to look back on all the things that we are thankful for, and what is to come in the new year here at Tupelo.  This last year has been a wild ride here, but most of it being in the best ways!!   We were able to implement and improve some amazing programs for our team members, with the big highlights being:

ASPIRE DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. This was our inaugural year of this program and has been a huge success, with 4 out of 6 participants already being promoted!  We plan to expand this program in 2022 by adding 2 groups into the mix, affording them best in class DE&I trainings, as well as personal coaching for growth!

We have also expanded and increased the amount of assistance we have been able to provide to our wonderful Team Members through the EMPLOYEE RELIEF FUND. We have been able to help approximately 300 Team Members with over $350,000.00 for assistance with COVID-19 related, natural disaster, medical, and other financial hardships.  For some truly heartwarming stories and additional information about the Employee Relief Fund, visit HERE.

In this time of the Pandemic, we have been faced with unprecedented staffing and supply shortages. To alleviate some of our staffing shortage issues, we have offered various sign on bonuses, which helped us to welcome over 450 new team members company-wide to the tune of $300K!

Additional benefits? We are proud to say that we were able to keep our medical, dental, vision, and other insurance costs low for our team members in a year when most saw incremental increases.   We additionally offer Pet insurance, 401k, Family Savings Accounts, and an Employee Assistance program that helps Team Members with mental health needs or legal consultations for personal matters.
Honey Pot
We have also EXPANDED our signature HONEY POT TENURE BASED BENEFITS. These include (Our Honey Pot benefits are the extra honey in your tea!):

  • increasing our wellness reimbursement by $100, up to $350 annually, tuition reimbursement up to $1,000 annually,
  • transportation reimbursement up to $100 annually!
  • We have expanded the Paid Parental Leave as well, which now covers both parents and adoptive parents at 50% of your wages for up to SIX WEEKS!
  • To combat burnout, we have expanded and INCREASED OUR PTO ALLOTMENTS, starting with 10 Hours of PTO for each Full time Team Member when they pass 90 days. In 2022, we will be increasing the accrual rate for ALL hourly team members. All Team Members will now accrue PTO at a rate that if they are working full time, they will accrue 40 hours in the first year, 80 hours in the third year and thereafter.

We have also added an Executive Sous Chef Salaried Manager to each location to assist with staffing shortages and to ensure our Team Members are not feeling burned out. This was a $650K cost to our company that we feel was well worth it!

Finally, we have been in the forefront of PANDEMIC SAFETY PROTOCOLS. We have instituted Vaccine, Mask, and COVID-19 Response plans and policies to protect us all.  We have updated our Safety Manuals, instituted strict COVID-Protocols, and offered PTO to Team Members who are vaccinated. We want our teams and guests to feel SAFE.


Tupelo is so thankful for you all!
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