MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Harma Hospitality Group recently announced its intention to raise the minimum wage for full-time employees to $16/hour.

The group owns several restaurants including Dockside Grill in Cheat Lake, Nonna Carlo Italian Deli and Imports, Sugar Bowl Sweets and Coffee and Crab Shack Caribba, all of which are located at Suncrest Towne Center. Bron Kayal, president of Harma Hospitality, said this wage bump, would apply to full-time tipped workers as well. He said it’s important that employees working 35 hours a week, or more, earn a livable wage.

“If you’re working full time and you’re depending on your job to pay for your bills, and it’s not like it’s a part-time paying temporary thing for you, we’re going to make sure it’s a career opportunity. You know, we have room to grow over here and we will compensate our employees accordingly.”

Nonna Carlo, at Suncrest Towne Center

Announcement of the pay increase, Kayal said, was met with elation by employees. He said they were “very happy”. Some staff were making around $13/hour, already, so even for them, that’s a significant increase.

“They got bumped up to $16, so they’re very happy about that,” Kayal said.

The pay increase, Kayal said, comes during a time when there are staffing shortages all around the nation. Therefore, he is hoping that increasing wages will get more people back into the workforce and on his team at Harma Hospitality.

“There is a disincentive in the market for people to come back to work, so what we are attempting to do is give people an incentive where our hourly rate will actually be greater than the unemployment that they may be collecting right now,” he said. “That helps us get better candidates, people who care about their jobs. We believe at Harma Hospitality — our mission is we are an employee-centric, customer-focused company in foodservice and we are the company in that order. So, we take care of our employees and the employees will take care of our customers.”

Kayal said he’s hiring in many positions, including cooks, baristas, waiters and house managers. Anyone who is interested can visit Harma Hospitality’s Facebook page to get started.

“Go to the Facebook page, all the jobs are listed there. They are all through Indeed, you know, under all the different restaurant brands that we have. I have a listing of all the posts on there. It takes you through the whole process.”