Taco Bell will test a 6-figure salary for managers and roll out paid sick leave as fast food’s war for talent continues to rage

Taco Bell is looking for new ways to win over employees in the war for talent. Taco Bell

Taco Bell is looking for new ways to win over employees in the war for talent.

On Thursday, the fast-food chain announced it would test a $US100,000 salary for the general managers of certain company-owned locations later this year. Taco Bell also said that all employees at company-owned stores are eligible for at least 24 hours of paid sick time per year, starting January 1.

In a press release, Taco Bell said that it aimed to enhance restaurant performance and employee satisfaction, contributing to locations’ recruitment and retention.

Fast-food chains are battling for talent as unemployment hovers near historic lows. In November, the US unemployment rate was 3.5%, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said in early December.

Major retailers have responded to the war for talent by raising wages, with companies including Amazon, Target, and Costco boosting their minimum pay. Fast-food chains have primarily focused on perks – Shake Shack has tested a four-day workweek, and Starbucks has added mental-health benefits.

However, some workers have criticised the benefits when they are not coupled with higher pay – something that could help set Taco Bell apart from the competition. For example, some Starbucks workers have pushed back on subscriptions to a meditation app, saying they’re instead seeking higher pay and an end to understaffing.

“As Taco Bell expands its footprint, our responsibility to drive positive impact increases,” Taco Bell CEO Mark King said in a statement on Thursday. “Our business growth in the last decade has positioned us to create change for good and implement creative solutions for our planet, our people and our food.”