McDonald's is undoubtedly one of the biggest fast-food companies in America. Their chains are patronized by millions of customers daily in over 100 countries, making them one of the leading brands in the restaurant industry. Despite their massive number of followers, it is a known fact that the employees are, in fact, the most important customers of an organization. So just how good and fair is McDonald's hourly rate, as compared to other giant companies like Walmart? And most importantly, how satisfied are the employees with their wages?
Let's dive into the nitty-gritty details of hourly wages in McDonald's and how it is affecting the company.
A typical McDonald's worker earns around US$8 per hour, which, truthfully speaking, is hardly enough to support an individual, let alone a family. They work five days a week, which is an average of 25-30 hours per week. In fact, we discovered that McDonald's actually limits the number of hours an employee can work to only 40 hours per week.
For the longest time, McDonald’s starting salary was US$6.25 per hour. Fortunately, it went up when the minimum wage was increased, which is reasonable considering the laborious work they have to go through during their shifts. Moreover, they rarely get to choose the position they will be covering for that day as it is usually up to the management to decide on the task allocation.
On the flip side, McDonald’s tends to hire people very readily which provides higher job opportunities for the workforce. Sometimes they may even give you a proposition to take up a managerial post for a 50 cents raise. However, with all the stress that comes from managing shifts, keeping track of employees’ timings and allocating job roles, the raise may just not be enough.
Employees at McDonald’s usually get a 5 cents raise in 6 months. The largest increment is 25 cents but that is one uphill task to achieve. It also doesn’t help that there are no healthcare benefits to go with it.
Fight for Minimum Wage
For over 7 years, McDonald’s employees have joined in the “Fight for $15” movement to protest the unfair wage practices of fast-food chains. Dissatisfaction with the hourly wage was rampant amongst the employees and this brought much unwanted attention to McDonald's which inadvertently affected the business. It placed the company in a situation where they were forced to raise wages. But the question remained - by how much are they willing to do so?
Since there may not be much room for progression while working at McDonald's, employees should arguably get the compensation that they deserve. Whilst maintaining profits and productivity is important for such giant corporations, the core of the company is still its employees. And as employers, it is only fair to not leave them in the lurch.
But Is This True?
The $15 minimum wage is equal to $30,000 a year for a full-time employee. "They're making millions while millions can't pay their bills", says a hapless union group member, suggesting that there is plenty of profit left over in corporate suitcases to fund a massive pay increase.
In actual fact, at least 90% of McDonald's locations are independently-owned by franchisees that are not making that kind of money (millions). They have approximately 6 cents profit from each dollar after paying for the food, staff costs, and other expenses.
If you do a calculation and say the minimum wage is $15, then that wage will eat up three-quarters of the profit every year. And that is just the minimum wage. Most of the stores would not get any profit in doing so. And if it was so easy to just hike up the price of the meal in McDonald's, it would have already been done so. Unfortunately, customer backlash would then be par for the course when it comes to such price increases.
In other parts of the world, self-service checkout kiosks are commonplace. They have been a norm in many European countries for over seven years now and have been tested successfully in certain parts of the US as well. If self-service counters were to replace entry-level employees, and the minimum wage goes up, then there will be much fewer people employed by McDonald's. And that, in turn, will result in lower employment opportunities for young adults in the country. Undeniably, you can't really satisfy everyone.
It is hard to say whether the organizers behind the $15 minimum wage campaign are really supporting hourly workers or are doing so for their own purposes, and wallets. Evidently, much more thought needs to go into the consequences of having such a minimum wage.
What Other Companies Are Doing
Perhaps something can be learned from Walmart’s recent move with their college tuition scheme - they are giving their employees a push to evolve and gradually improve their skills. Needless to say, that is a smart move to boost the morale of their employees.
Similarly, Disney has also offered full college tuition for their workers, which is something really remarkable and inspiring for employers to note. If you, as an employer, give support to your workers, they will be more satisfied and willing to work harder. Even if they are not entirely satisfied with their hourly wages. As an added bonus, you get all the good publicity that comes with it. Can’t hurt to try, right?
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Zakiyah is a freelance content writer. She’s a lifelong learner, looking for opportunities to expand her horizons whenever she can. She loves traveling, playing volleyball and reading up on general developments in the industry.