Chewse is a love company. That means we think hard about how to best show love to our customers and restaurant partners. Right after we raised our Series A, our co-founders Tracy and Jeff sat down and asked themselves: “How do we show love to our team?”.

Employees are a company’s greatest asset

Their goal was to build a company where we can be our authentic, human selves every day. The kind of community Tracy and Jeff envisioned nurtured openness and trust — but how to get there?

Eventually, they decided the best place to show the most love – and the most trust – was with compensation. And, ironically, the best way to do that was with a cold, hard formula that calculates options and salary for any individual on the team. At the same time, they took a leap and chose to change the company model to totally transparent salaries.

So how does an open formula support trust, authenticity, and love?

Transparent salaries reduce information disparity

After receiving a job offer, prospective hires are often pressured to make a decision with limited information. At Chewse, we think such opaqueness is unnecessarily frustrating and can start the relationship off on the wrong foot. Instead, we aim to set up clear compensation expectations, so we aren’t dancing around anything in the hiring process

Transparent salaries prevent pay inequality

In a negotiation model, two people in the same role – with the same experience – might be paid differently. If that weren’t enough of a problem, pay disparities affect women and minorities the hardest. Oftentimes, minorities might not feel the same level of comfort when it comes to fighting for a larger salary. Tracy and Jeff saw this repeatedly. This, they decided, was not the world they wanted. Instead, Chewse aims to provide compensation based on business value, not negotiation ability.

Transparent salaries cultivate and advance career goals

Most people have no idea what their bosses think of their performance (caveat: until it’s too late). Since they’re not having these conversations, they also don’t know how to move to the next level. Titles aren’t enough to clarify this. We believe this lack of transparency fuels politics and misunderstanding — which is not only bad for an individual’s learning, but also bad for the company. And even when people are performing, their pay often doesn’t increase to reflect this (unless they are in a commissioned role). Instead, at Chewse, we aim to provide clarity on where each employee stands and how to advance to the next level.

Transparent salaries cultivate openness and trust. 

Salaries have become a taboo subject, yet they are one of the biggest drivers of team satisfaction. Communities are built on trust, and trust requires openness. We believe open salaries actually open the doors to meaningful dialogue. Because of this, all salaries are open to the team. Chewse aims to de-politicize work and bring difficult, productive topics into the open.

After all, if we succeed in creating open, transparent environments, we are giving people the space to do their best work.

Interested in learning more?

If you’d like to dive in more with pieces that influenced our co-founders, check out:

Introducing Open Salaries at Buffer: Our Transparent Formula and All Individual Salaries

Salary Negotiation: Make More Money, Be More Valued

The Limits Of “Unlimited” Vacation