Developing a Competitive Compensation Package for the Food and Beverage Industry

April 20, 2020 in HR Best Practices



With minimum wage changing at the start of 2020 for some states, and new laws restricting employers from investigating a candidate’s salary history, food and beverage employers will need to do their homework to research and develop the best compensation plans.


You want to maintain high employee retention and attract the best new candidates so it’s essential to ensure you’re paying your employees enough. Thankfully, Kinsa Group released a new salary guide to help employers do just that!


Want the full 2020 Salary Guide?  Download it now for access to food and beverage salary ranges and medians from Sales and C-Suite titles to Operations and Supply Chain, and many roles in between.


With 1,000 food and beverage industry professionals placed in new positions since January 1, 2000, Kinsa Group has an industry-wide view on compensation. We’re sharing our data gained from interviews with more than 3,000 food and beverage industry job candidates over the last two years to help you design a competitive compensation package to keep your current employees happy and ensure you are able to attract new ones.


Salary Questions Can Be Prohibited

It’s been common practice to ask a job candidate what they have been paid in previous positions. However, that’s now prohibited in several states, many of which had new laws go into effect this year.

According to HR Dive, the following states have enacted some form of salary question ban for private employers:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado (beginning 2021)
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio (starting March 2020, with some limitations)
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington state

However, in Michigan and Wisconsin, employers are protected under law and may inquire about salary history.


Be Aware of New Minimum Wage Standards

When the calendar flipped to 2020, food and beverage industry employees in some states received an automatic raise. In all, 21 states increased their minimum wage requirements.


What to Do Now?

Preparing a budgeted salary range for a new hire offer can be stressful if you do not have the right information.  Is what you have been paying for this role in the past enough to remain competitive?


Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • How specialized is this position? Be prepared to increase your offer for candidates who fit your ideal vision for the position. Entry-level jobs might be easier to fill, but experienced, highly-skilled workers are harder to come by and should be compensated accordingly for their expertise—whether that expertise is a knowledge-base or list of industry contacts, etc.
  • Cost of living based on location. If you want to attract a new employee moving from a less expensive area to one where housing, transportation, or child care costs are higher, you will need to increase compensation in keeping with that change.
  • Is your company growing quickly? If your projected growth is 10% or higher, and a candidate has been through double-digit growth recently in their career, they’ll understand how to scale their efforts accordingly and adjust their team’s workload to keep pace. That’s valuable knowledge and leadership potential that can benefit your company in real-time.
  • Offer employees the chance to grow with you. Show employees how investing their time in your company now can pay dividends later. If possible, consider equity or stock options as part of a compensation package or some other return on investment incentive.


Want More Guidance? We’re Here to Help


If you are preparing for a new hire and you’d like recruiting assistance, contact Kinsa Group. Our experts are standing by to help you create offer packages for recruited talent that make the most sense. Kinsa Group has access to a network of highly qualified job candidates that could be just the right fit for your organization, and we never leave the compensation expectations question unasked.