- McDonald's asked employees what industries they want to work in, and now a select few will shadow influencers in those top five industries for a day, the company announced Tuesday. To apply for the Where You Want To Be campaign, eligible employees must create a video describing their career goals and how skills attained at McDonald’s will help achieve them.
- The company will work with five influencers from the world of of arts and entertainment, technology, entrepreneurship, healthcare, and restaurants and foodservice, turning to their franchisee network for the latter. Partners include Empire actor and Yazz the Greatest rapper Bryshere Gray, YouTube star and LGBTQ activist (and former McDonald’s employee) Tyler Oakley, startup fiend and author James Altucher, and dermatologist Meena Singh.
- Spinning off the chain's Archways to Opportunity educational fund, this specialized program offers employees more resources to build a career — at McDonald’s or elsewhere — through continuing education, tuition assistance and advising tools. All employees will now have access to a career app and counseling sessions.
Calling it "America's Best First Job," McDonald's doesn't shy away from the reality that many of its employees view working there as a jumping off point. The chain stresses the cultivation of soft skills such as teamwork, problem solving, timeliness and communication. This initiative, however, adds a unique contest that encourages employees to get creative for the chance to hang out with successful people in their dream job.
In March, the fast-food giant invested $150 million in its tuition assistance program, lowering eligibility requirements from nine months to 90 days of employment for at least 15, rather than 20, hours a week and extending the offer to family members. Assistance taps out at $2,500 per year, though.
At varying degrees, benefits have evolved into a key selling point for restaurants looking to attract and keep hourly workers in an especially tight labor market. Starbucks — a leader in benefits across the board, most recently adding subsidized child care — rolled out its tuition benefit in 2014, which covers the full cost for online programs at Arizona State University. Taco Bell and Chipotle offer $5,250 per year in education support, while KFC covers up to $2,500. Pizza Hut, Chick-fil-A and White Castle also reimburse a percentage of costs, depending on the program and school.
Despite Starbucks' reputation, though, it ranked 95th on Glassdoor's 2018 Best Places to Work survey. But that's a win for the restaurant industry, according to Restaurant Business, which noted that In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A and Darden, (whose restaurants include Olive Garden, The Capital Grille and Longhorn Steakhouse) also landed in the top 100. Shake Shack and Five Guys have also been mentioned in part for their chance at 401(k) matching and paid sick leave, respectively.
The restaurant industry has perhaps been forced to adapt to a demand for benefits since the 2008 recession and wage stagnation. Workers are driven by the opportunity for upward mobility, higher wages and work-life balance, and such stability decreases the ongoing issue of turnover. McDonald's, like other chains and independent restaurants, have realized that these perks are less an option than a necessity today.
In 2007 McDonald's also revamped its approach to training and mentoring, giving store-level managers the resources and the confidence to improve efficiency in their restaurants, recognize talent or potential issues and encourage team and individual development. The company stated that these adjustments helped decrease turnover and increase existing employees’ abilities to move up the pipeline.