McDonald’s Corp. is supporting franchisee efforts to expand employee benefits, which may include emergency child care, elderly care, paid time off and tuition reimbursements.
The Chicago-based burger brand said it has been evaluating the pay and benefits that operators provide workers. The company and its franchisees have surveyed more than 5,000 McDonald’s workers and managers about what they’d like to see in compensation.
In May, McDonald’s announced it was increasing pay an average of 10% for more than 36,500 workers at its corporate-owned U.S. stores. The company said it was 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.
“This summer, McDonald’s franchisees will begin to study how their pay measures up against other employers in their markets to make it more competitive,” the Wall Street Journal was the first to report. “A group of franchisees this summer are also expected to begin offering employees backup child and elderly care, and owners will decide whether to expand it by the end of the year.”
McDonald’s said it has crafted a plan called the Employee Value Proposition, or EVP, in which it has partnered with owner-operators to improve the experience of working at the restaurants, including a “Emergency Backup Care” pilot. That initial franchisee program uses the same vendor that manages that benefit for company-owned restaurants.
The company said the first wave of programs was a test-and-learn opportunity.
“Our Employee Value Proposition was born from crew member, manager and franchisee feedback at the local level, and that partnership will be critical as we work to grow and expand this work across the McDonald’s system,” said Tiffanie Boyd, McDonald’s USA chief people officer, in a statement. “I’m thrilled that owner/operators aren’t just embracing the EVP – they’re really making it their own, introducing plus-ups to our national programs that resonate with the needs and wants of their employees locally."
McDonald's said it was making a multimillion-dollar investment to back the franchisee efforts. Franchisees own about 95% of the brand’s 14,000 U.S. stores.
Competition for workers in the restaurant industry has increased as operators emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic’s restrictions. In June, for example, nearly one in four U.S. jobs was created in restaurants and bars, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month.
Competitors have been offering incentives. Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s International Inc. last week said it would invest $2.5 million in new hiring, referral and appreciation bonuses for workers at company-owned restaurants this year.
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in April began offering to pay for college-degree programs in related fields at 10 universities.
Snagajob, the online marketplace for hourly work, reported last week that workers’ wages have risen substantially, up 3.6% overall year over year, with hospitality workers making 7.9% more in June than they were in the pre-pandemic period.
Update July 14, 2020: This story was updated with confirmation and comments from McDonald's Corp.
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