Aramark abruptly postponed a quarterly meeting scheduled for Wednesday at which chief executive Eric Foss and chief financial officer Stephen P. Bramlage were to address employees on the top floor of the company’s new Philadelphia headquarters and by video.
The food-and-facilities giant, which employs about 14,000 people in Pennsylvania, including nearly 6,500 in the Philadelphia region, had an adjusted operating income of $1.1 billion in the 2018 financial year.
Aramark officials did not respond Wednesday when asked about the meeting — called Aramark Connect — being postponed.
One employee said the meetings, once comparable to a television production, had been scaled down but were still a “dog-and-pony show.”
The cancellation of the bonuses, which can account for up to 25 percent of a manager’s annual pay, followed an earlier announcement that the company’s 401(k) match would be just 25 percent up to 6 percent of an employee’s pay. That is the lowest in decades, employees said.
Foss, who was paid $16 million in 2018 financial year, including $2.6 million as an annual incentive award, said on Tuesday’s quarterly earnings conference call that 2018 was a normal year in the way Aramark dealt with management bonuses.
“If you look at a bonus program in any given year, it’s incented to drive performance," Foss told analysts, "so as you see across geographies or different businesses disparate performance you’ll see some no or low payments and you’ll see some higher-than-target payments, which I think is pretty consistent. No real difference in any given year.”
However, numerous managers have contacted The Inquirer to say that they they were missing out on earned bonuses, historically paid like clockwork in early December, as high as $30,000 last year.
In a surprise move, after reports of bonuses being canceled, the company said it was going to share some of the tax savings as special onetime payments for select employees.
The so-called onetime special recognition awards — flat amounts ranging from $5,500 to $27,500 for all managers at a particular level — that Aramark said it will pay Feb. 15 out of its windfall from 2017′s corporate tax cut did not make up for the lost bonuses, managers said.
Aramark’s annual report said it booked a $237.8 million benefit from the new tax law.