Consider us for your next catering event

Learn More


Search our shop

People-First Pay Transparency at Brasa Peruvian Kitchen

What we’re announcing today as a company is something that I’ve wanted to do since 2009. I’m proud to say I’m finally in the position to incorporate this new, possibly radical, way of doing business.

The industry that I operate my business in isn’t recognized for puttingpeople-first. Working at a fast casual restaurant is often seen as a step down from the industry's older sibling; full-service restaurants. My industry typically experiences 100% year over year turnover, exploits minimum wage workers to maximize profits, and offers few growth opportunities. There’s a more equitable path to be taken. 

When we launched our first location in 2021 (we now have three locations with a supporting commissary kitchen), I knew I wanted to create systems and processes to put our people first like the industry had never seen before. During this journey, I’ve been met with cynicism from individuals within the industry but I knew that to create a novel company I would be misunderstood and doubted.

We began by paying a “starting income” of $19/hour (I’ve forbid the use of minimum wage) without asking our customers to supplement this income with tips; we have a no tipping policy at Brasa Peruvian Kitchen because I believe it’s my sole responsibility to pay a living wage, not our customers. Our team members, both full and part-time, are given benefits on their first day of employment, not after a three-month probationary period.

I’m consistently told our benefits program is more robust than that of Starbucks, and we complement this with true learning and development opportunities. We currently have two individuals who began with us one year ago earning $19/hour and are now earning $60,000+ in more senior corporate roles. 

I’m happy to share that our company is showcasing transparency with fine details with respect to a topic that is taboo in most organizations. We’re going one step further than sharing pay bands for roles within the company. 

Can we truly claim to be transparent organizations without going all the way? Convention has traditionally dictated that it’s punishable to discuss compensation with peers and colleagues. According to 15Five, a performance management software company, fair compensation is consistently ranked within the top 3 reasons why employees will choose a career. *

Why we’ve done this and what I believe the value is:

  • I would want to work for a company like this, so it’s my responsibility to build it for others.
  • To help us build a performance-based company where the most impactful team members are compensated adequately regardless of experience or tenure.
  • I believe this will be a motivational tool for some of our newest team members.

The key element to this document is the column titled “Employee Journey” where we capture and share the instances when a team member has excelled. This will give colour to why the individual earns what they do.

We have other creative People-First Culture strategies waiting to deploy but first we launch this one to elevate our workplace.

I’d be happy to help if this is something you’re interested in exploring for your company. Simply email me

Michel Falcon
Founder & CEO, Brasa Peruvian Kitchen