Rutter’s targets employee retention with $18 minimum wage

Dive Brief:

  • Rutter’s boosted its lowest starting wage to $18 per hour as of the start of 2024, according to an emailed press release.
  • This is Rutter’s eighth pay increase in the last four years. Beyond these starting wages, all employee earnings across the company will increase this year by 7% on average. This comes as Rutter’s is in the early stages of an extensive growth plan.
  • The move is intended to keep Rutter’s pay scale competitive with its peers amid a continuing difficult labor landscape in the c-store industry, the company said.

Dive Insight:

With this boost, Rutter’s says it has raised its starting wages by almost 75% since 2019.

“Providing competitive wages is a foundational part of being a great place to work and shows our long-term investment in our employees and communities” said Suzanne Cramer, vice president of human resources at Rutter’s. 

These wages compare favorably to the average c-store hourly pay, which was just over $14 per hour for both full- and part-time workers in 2022 according to NACS’ State of the Industry data.

Wages continue to be a balancing act for c-stores, as the industry faced turnover rates well over 100% for both full-time and part-time workers in 2022, according to NACS. While improved pay is one of the ways companies can attract and retain employees, it also weighs on the bottom line. Average wages increased 9.1% for full-time and 12.6% for part-time employees in 2022, NACS noted. 

Still, high pay remains a strong differentiator. Buc-ee’s turned heads in 2023 when it began advertising its starting wages, which also started at $18 per hour as of last year.

York, Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s, which traces its company roots to a family farm that predates the U.S., has 85 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. In addition to the c-store locations, Rutter’s also owns a dairy and beverage company and a real estate company.