McDonald’s Corp. is increasing pay an average of 10% for more than 36,500 workers at its corporate-owned U.S. stores as the restaurant industry continues to face hiring challenges, the company announced Thursday.
The Chicago-based burger brand said it raising the entry-level range for crew to at least $11 to $17 an hour, and the starting range for shift managers to at least $15 to $20 an hour, based on restaurant location.
“These pay raises have already begun and will be completed over the next several months,” said Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, in an open letter to the system.
Other restaurant companies have announced pay increases as well. Earlier this week, Newport Beach, Calif.-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said it would be raising its hourly wages to an average of $15 an hour by the end of June, ranging from $11 to $18 per hour for store-level employees.
Erlinger said McDonald’s conducted a wage and benefit analysis and solicited feedback for employees in making the pay decision.
Erlinger said the company was also urging its franchisee-owned stores to evaluate worker pay. “We encourage all owner/operators to make this same commitment to their restaurant teams in ways that make the most sense for their community, their people and their long-term growth,” he said.
McDonald’s owns about 5% of its nearly 14,000 domestic locations and the remainder are franchised.
“At a time when the market for talent is getting more challenging, our continued growth will depend on our ability to recognize, recruit and retain outstanding people,” said Gregg Ereio, vice president of the McDonald’s Operations Co., the subsidiary that owns and operates the company restaurants. “That’s why we are committed to offering a comprehensive, industry-leading pay and benefits package.”
McDonald’s has been targeted by labor groups for its pay levels.
In response to Thursday’s announcement, workers’ rights group Fight for $15, which has been seeking to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour since 2012, issued a statement from union leader Doneshia Babbitt of St. Louis, Mo.
“We’re demanding McDonald’s pay all of us who wear its uniform at least $15 an hour, which is the bare minimum workers anywhere need to survive,” Babbitt said.
McDonald’s is among many restaurant brands seeking to hire additional workers as the industry emerges from COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
McDonald’s has more than 39,000 locations worldwide
Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless