McDonald’s has modernised its menu by adding kale and custom burgers.
And now, there are signs McDonald’s is catching up to companies like Chipotle and Starbucks in terms of worker pay and benefits.
McDonald’s has been plagued by the perception that it pays workers close to minimum wage and offers few benefits. The company and individual franchisees have been taking steps to improve the company’s reputation and reduce turnover.
For instance, Jason Rippon, who owns franchises in Pennsylvania, told the local news site that he is working on a program that offers prizes if workers can go 30 days without a customer complaint.
Rippon also pays for nicotine gum for workers who want to quit smoking. He plans to start paying for YMCA memberships soon, and started a book subsidy program.
He says he is working for a peer-to-peer program that lets workers recognise one another.
There are indications that more McDonald’s franchises are adopting benefits to retain workers.
In Arizona, where McDonald’s is hiring 2,000 positions at more than 300 locations, the company is touting a program called “Archways to Opportunity.”
The program can help workers advance their English speaking skills and “includes higher-education tuition help for employees who work a minimum of 30 hours,” according to The Arizona Republic.
Last year, starting wages at McDonald’s 1,500 company-owned restaurants in the US were raised to $1 more than the locally mandated minimum wage. McDonald’s expects the average hourly wage for those workers to exceed $10 by the end of this year.
McDonald’s started offering five days of paid vacation to workers with one year of employment. These changes only affect 10% of McDonald’s workers — it’s up to franchisees to determine the wages at their restaurants.
The increased pay and benefits come at a crucial time for McDonald’s.
Only 55% of franchisees polled in an internal survey said that “satisfaction in high” among workers in their restaurants, according to Candice Choi at The Associated Press. That’s down from 68% a year ago.
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