Restaurants

McDonald's adds tuition, child care to sweetened benefits in a bid to attract workers

Key Points
  • McDonald's franchisees are offering higher hourly wages, paid time off, backup child care and tuition payments in an attempt to win over workers.
  • McDonald's and its franchisees will co-fund these worker compensation efforts with a multimillion dollar investment.
  • Restaurants were among the hardest-hit businesses during Covid shutdowns, and many workers in the industry were let go as sales stalled.

In this article

The sign at the McDonald's restaurant on Penn Ave in Sinking Spring, PA April 8, 2021 with a message on a board below it that reads "Work Here $15 And Free Meals".
Ben Hast | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

McDonald's franchisees are offering higher hourly wages, paid time off and tuition payments in an attempt to win over workers, as restaurants throughout the industry struggle to hire staff.

McDonald's will be co-funding the efforts with franchisees with a multimillion dollar investment in the enhanced worker compensation programs, which include a pilot of an emergency child care program, the company told CNBC. Caregiver benefits have become popular among companies during the pandemic as employers seek to compete in a tight labor market.

Restaurants were among the hardest-hit businesses during Covid shutdowns and let go of many workers as sales stalled. Now that industries around the country have resumed full operations, restaurants are struggling to keep up with demand. Major restaurant chains — including Papa John's, Chipotle and P. F. Chang's — have boosted incentives for new workers, including sometimes offering sign-on bonuses.

McDonald's said the plan relied on feedback from over 5,000 crew members, managers and owners and operator organizations, and the company expects these changes will help it remain competitive when it comes to hiring workers.

McDonald's franchisees agreed last month to help boost training, workplace flexibility, pay and benefits for workers across markets, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Franchisees own around 95% of McDonald's locations and corporate owns the remaining 5%.

In May, McDonald's announced a roughly 10% pay increase for some of its workers at its company owned restaurants as it was rushing to hire workers and meet demand. The company expects its average hourly wage to be $15 by 2024.

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