The National Restaurant Association has teamed up with UnitedHealthcare to create the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust Health Plan, an initiative that will help small businesses provide quality, affordable health care to their employees.

The program, which debuted April 3, gives restaurant companies with no more than 99 employees the ability to offer similar benefits to the kind larger firms do. Dawn Sweeney, the National Restaurant Association’s President and CEO, said the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust offers operators more than 120 plan designs to choose from, and that they are flexibly priced to suit all budgets. It also is compliant with Affordable Care Act requirements and simplifies administrative tasks associated with it. That makes it easier for smaller operations to use.

Sweeney said one of the program’s main goals is to help those smaller businesses increase their employee retention levels.

“Restaurant employees are our greatest asset and we want to ensure that they receive the best health care available,” she noted. “Without a doubt, it is those people – the hardworking servers, cooks, bussers, bartenders and dishwashers –who provide a memorable dining experience. In the restaurant industry, and in many others, supporting association health plans is a key step in increasing access to health care, reducing costs and providing an essential benefit to recruit and retain talented team members.”

According to our 2017 State of the Industry report, employee turnover in the restaurant and hospitality industry was 72.1 percent. It marked the first time since 2008 that the turnover rate exceeded 70 percent. The report also found that roughly three in 10 restaurant operators said they had job openings that were difficult to fill.

Sweeney also noted that the program’s innovative approach to providing affordable health care plans to smaller companies would give them a competitive edge by offering a variety of flexibly priced health benefits tailored to their needs.

Besides offering affordable health-care plans, the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust also gives small businesses access to wellness programs that in recent years have become exceedingly popular and, typically, are available to larger operators as part of their health benefits packages.

Visit the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust website for more information on how to provide your employees with affordable health-care insurance.