Full Stop Burger Shop Serves Up Living Wages to Employees

If you ask restaurant owner Todd Manuel why he changed his restaurant’s brand from Majestic Kitchen to Full Stop, he’ll tell you, “Sometimes growth requires a new identity.” Manuel isn’t just changing the name; he’s revamping the culture and offering dignity to hospitality jobs. After surviving the pandemic and significant personal tragedy, he started to reconsider how he was operating his small business. Manuel envisioned employees having access to a living wage, health insurance, and paid vacation. These types of perks are often unheard of in the restaurant industry.

The Full Stop transition has been months, if not years, in the making. When Manuel purchased Majestic Kitchen, it was already facing challenges, but he pressed on and saw a turnaround in sales during 2019. The brand’s future was looking bright until COVID-19. Manuel had to let staff go, work long hours alone, take orders, cook, and deliver meals to keep the lights on. When restaurants could finally have guests back in the dining room, Manuel took advantage of having to work every position and started taking notes. What was working, what was not, where was the waste, and what did customers and employees need the most? Those are the questions that paved the way to the transformation.

Manuel put together a team to help rethink his business model. The idea was simple: reinvest in the business to improve guests’ experience with food, dining room, and staff. Together, the team is committed to classic American fare, the betterment of the surrounding community, and supporting each team member’s long-term personal success. As a team, they asked themselves. “What do we want our legacy to be? How can we be the change we want to see in the world?”

Manuel’s team collectively wanted to address the issue of individuals working full-time in the restaurant industry but still unable to survive without government subsidies or a second job. Many work 60+ hours a week and barely scrape by due to the typical restaurant business model. Few (if any) working back or front of the house have access to healthcare, paid vacation, or sick leave. Turnover and burnout rate is high in the restaurant industry—all things Manuel’s team wanted to tackle.

Manuel created Full Stop from scratch, starting with core values that aligned with the positive changes that would enrich the lives of those who worked there. Like classic American food, the American dream applies to everyone that chooses to work there, regardless of position within the restaurant. Their goal is for 100% of their full-time workforce to make a living wage, have health/dental insurance, and pay time off when needed.

It’s a Full Stop for his employees and customers, too! Full Stop Burger Shop and Custard Counter serve a variety of burgers, chicken sandwiches, plates, salads and traditional sides, alongside signature frozen custard dessert treats. Full stop is open for breakfast seven days a week. Unique to the shop is a self-serve beer and wine tap wall featuring Mississippi-brewed favorites. Full Stop promises you’ll leave the restaurant feeling full of life, not just full!

Photos curtsey of Full Stop Burger Shop – Visit them at 067 Highland Colony Parkway Ridgeland, MS 39157



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