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Burger King Franchisees Hawk Corvette, Rolex to Give Workers Bonus Pay

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Rather than keeping the "Franchisee of the Year" prizes for themselves, they passed them on to their employees.

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Earning the coveted title of Burger King "Franchisee of the Year" doesn't just mean bragging rights — the fast food giant also lavishes the winner with some seriously big-ticket prizes. But according to Consumerist, this year's winners elected to sell their brand new Corvette and Rolex to fund a much more noble pursuit: paying bonuses to their hard-working employees.

Tom Barnett and his fellow franchise owners, who own 24 BK locations across Arizona, also threw in some of their own money to gather a collective fund of $120,000. "More than 100 Burger King employees received bonuses, which ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars," says Phoenix's 3TV. "The award needed to go to the people that got us here," franchise co-owner Shelly Crispin told the local news station. "It was the only right thing to do."

Even just an extra few hundred dollars can make a big impact for fast food workers. A 2014 study revealed that nearly 40 percent of all restaurant employees live in poverty, thanks to stagnated wages that haven't adjusted for inflation since 2000 and an industry where benefits are extremely rare.