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McDonald’s Offering Tuition and Childcare to Attract Workers



A McDonald's restaurant with a hiring sign in Queens in New York | McDonald’s Offering Tuition and Childcare to Attract Workers | featured

Fast-food giant McDonald’s Corporation is now adding emergency child care services and tuition assistance as perks in order to hire new workers. With the shortage of workers wanting to return to the foodservice workforce, companies like McDonald’s are adding more incentives on top of an increase in hourly pay. 

RELATED: McDonald’s To Raise Wages For Corporate Store Workers

Hiring Shortage

US franchisees of the burger giant are working to give workers a host of new benefits on top of higher hourly rates. Specifically, these include benefits such as paid time off and assistance in tuition costs.

This movement is in line with the company’s push to improve its image as a responsible employer. In fact, parent company McDonald’s said it is making a multimillion-dollar investment to support its franchisees’ efforts. Currently, franchises operate 95% of McDonald’s 13,450 stores in the US.  

Currently, a worker shortage is plaguing the foodservice industry, same as with other retail and hospitality businesses. During the pandemic, many restaurants and bars let their workers go as losses mounted due to closures and limited customers.

Now, the industry is lacking 1.3 million workers even as other industries near full employment.  Many former restaurant workers quit their jobs and refuse to return. In fact, many found jobs outside the industry that pay more and require less labor-intensive work. 

McDonald’s Internal Survey Results

Meanwhile, many companies are closely watching how McDonald’s responds to the worker shortage. The company is one of the largest US employers, with over 800,000 workers helping out in its 13,00 plus restaurants.

Early this year, McDonald’s said it would increase hourly wages in corporate-owned restaurants from $11 to $17 for starters.  

McDonald’s franchise owners took a survey on current workers on what they’d like to see as compensation. More than 5,000 McDonald’s workers and managers participated, and many said they’d like to see enhanced pay and more workplace flexibility.

As a result, franchisee leaders last month agreed to help boost training, workplace flexibility, pay, and benefits across markets.  In fact, McDonald’s owners admitted that they need to show their commitment to employees. Now, individual restaurants are adopting the employee program and implementing wage increases and other benefits.

Unemployment Benefits Main Reason For Leaving The Food Industry

Meanwhile, about two dozen chain operators by the Compass Restaurant Consulting and Research firm conducted a survey to find out how best to attract workers. The survey found out the majority of workers left the industry due to unemployment benefits.

This is followed closely by disenchantment with the restaurant industry. The third major reason is feeling unsafe while working in a public-facing job. 

As a result, a number of chain restaurants are bumping up pay at an average of $15 per hour. Many other companies will now review compensation rates frequently and check if they remain competitive.

In particular, McDonald’s will start benchmarking their pay rates with others. Many franchises will also offer backup child and elderly care, with owners deciding whether to expand it by the end of 2021. This way, McDonald’s and other foodservice chains will be more ready to compete in the new labor market.

Watch ABC4 Utah as they report that restaurant employees are given tuition assistance through McDonald’s ‘Archways to Opportunity’:

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What’s your take on the shortage of workers in the foodservice industry? Do you agree with the need to add benefits on top of raises in pay for food chain workers? In addition, will you support workers by going out to eat more?

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