(AP) – McDonald’s is raising wages in 650 company-owned stores in the United States to recruit thousands of new workers in a tight labor market.
The fast food giant is also encouraging its franchisees, who make up 95% of its restaurant base, to increase pay.
McDonald’s is the latest restaurant chain to announce pay hikes. Chipotle said Monday it would raise workers’ wages to an average of $ 15 an hour by the end of June. Darden Restaurants, the owner of Olive Garden and other chains, announced in March that it would guarantee workers $ 12 an hour including tips through 2023.
Amazon, Costco, and other big companies have also announced salary increases in the past few weeks.
Wages and benefits for US workers have risen rapidly as vaccinations surge and employers seek to meet growing demand in restaurants and other businesses. Total compensation for US workers rose 0.9% in the first three months of this year, the largest increase in more than 13 years, according to the Department of Labor.
Chicago-based McDonald’s announced Thursday that hourly wages would rise by an average of 10% to $ 13 per hour over the next few months, and will rise to $ 15 per hour by 2024. Beginners will earn at least $ 11 an hour. Shift supervisors make at least $ 15 an hour.
But only about 5% of McDonald’s US operations are owned by the company. The vast majority of McDonald’s nearly 14,000 US stores are owned by franchisees who pay at their own restaurants.
McDonald’s said it had no data on wages in franchise restaurants. However, the company urges franchisees to follow suit.
“We encourage all of our owners / operators to get involved with their restaurant teams in ways that make most sense for their community, employees and long-term growth,” wrote Joe Erlinger, US president of McDonald’s, in a letter to the Employee.
In a statement, the U.S. National Franchisee Leadership Alliance, which is negotiating with the company on behalf of franchisees, expressed its support for the pay increases and encouraged restaurants to remain competitive in their local markets.