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    Restaurants | 6 min read

    McDonald's vs KFC: How Do They Compare for Hourly Work?

    McDonald’s and KFC are two of the largest fast food chains in the world, with thousands of outlets internationally. Thanks to their quick services and iconic menus, they were able to grow into fast food leaders across the globe for many years now. What could be attributed to their impeccable success? 

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    Large organizations such as these undeniably need thousands of employees to help them operate flawlessly on a daily basis and deliver what they promise to their customers. So, it goes without saying that employees are one of the important factors which contributes to a company’s success. For McDonald’s and KFC, there is a need for a variety of employees, considering the dynamic nature of the industry. Thus, just as much as they have full-time employees, their hourly workers also make up a substantial portion of their workforce and are an essential part of their operations.

    Undoubtedly, it's probably more challenging to maintain a stable base of hourly employees than full-time employees since they are usually individuals who come and go. So how do McDonald’s and KFC achieve this and which one of them fare better at retaining their hourly workers? Let’s unpack what each of them has to offer and find out!


    Bonus Vouchers

    Bonuses for hourly employees? Yup, that’s what KFC is doing on a quarterly basis. Here, when an employee works hard and clocks in a lot of hours, they are entitled for retail vouchers which can go up to $250 dollars for a single employee. This not only motivates them to work harder but also boosts their morale which encourages them to stay longer in the company. Moreover, instead of rewarding employees with cold, hard cash, these vouchers give staff members a feeling of connection to the company, inducing a sense of belonging despite the nature of their position. 

    Free Food 

    Most of the hourly workers in KFC work as cashiers, cooks or front-end team members. This means that most, if not all, of their working hours are spent on-site. Needless to say, these employees are surrounded by the food that they serve most of the time, while being consistently on their feet no less!

    As such, the management has decided to provide them with free meals, which are regulated differently from country to country. For some areas, employees are given the option to take away any food that is not sold during work hours at the end of the day. This benefit is appreciated by many employees since their job can get exhausting especially during peak periods. In fact, most employees like that they can get their meals for free in their workplace during their shift, probably because of its convenience.

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    Employee Discounts 

    One of the things that employees love when working at KFC is being eligible for discounts on anything in the menu during non-working hours. Depending on the duration they have been working for in the company, their position, and their performance at work, they can get employee discounts from a minimum of 10% to 30% on all items.

    This means that hourly employees can, not only eat free meals at work, but also have the benefit of treating themselves and their loved ones at an exclusive price when they are not working!

    REACH Educational Grant Program 

    The REACH Educational Grant Program is a scheme which helps KFC’s employees pursue their college education, and yes, this includes hourly employees as well. Under this program, selected staff are entitled to receive a sum of money to subsidize their tuition fees. To receive this grant, however, there are a few criteria in which they have to fulfil - amongst others, employees have to be with the company for a minimum of 6 months before they are eligible for it. 

    The subsidized amount ranges from $2000 to $2500 for all non-managerial staff. And, of course, these workers have to be current or prospective students of accredited colleges before being recipients of this grant. This may arguably be the best benefit KFC has to offer which aids in retaining their hourly employees. After all, who will refuse financial aid for the most expensive stage of their education?


    One Free Meal Per Shift 

    Similar to KFC, hourly employees at McDonald’s who decide to do a full shift are eligible for 1 full meal. To make things better, they have the freedom to choose what they want for their meal (except for menu items from McCafe). Undoubtedly, this motivates employees to stay longer so that they are able to redeem their free meal for the day.

    50% Discount on Two Meals 

    Aside from the free meals, McDonald’s employees are also eligible for a 50% discount on two meals when they purchase items from the food menu. They can enjoy this discount once a day when they are buying meals for two people (or one) and it's a great way to help them save up money on food, no matter how much they've worked that day, or even on their non-working day!

    Higher Minimal Pay Per Hour than the Rest 

    Both KFC and McDonald’s are obligated to pay at least a minimum wage per hour for all their employees, including hourly workers. In 2015, McDonald’s decided to pay their workers a dollar higher than the minimum wage in all countries. Needless to say, the employees here have a guaranteed higher minimum pay than anywhere else and naturally, employees feel more appreciated. This gives them a reason to stay on in the company for a longer period, which contributes to McDonald’s ability in retaining their hourly employees.

    Archways to Opportunity 

    Just like KFC, McDonald’s places a high importance on the personal growth of its employees. Thus, they created Archways to Opportunity, a comprehensive education strategy which gives their workers a chance to further their studies. As with the REACH program by KFC, McDonald’s subsidizes a portion of their employees’ tuition fees to ease their financial burden. Not only that, eligible employees are also able to extend this benefit to immediate family members should they want to get a high school diploma. For hourly employees, they merely have to work for 90 cumulative days, work an average of 15 hours per week or more, and maintain a performance rating of “significant performance” or better throughout the program in order to be eligible for the subsidy.

    If there is one thing that’s commendable about these programs, it is definitely the fact that these benefits are not solely for full-time employees, but also for their part-time staff as well. This prevents their hourly staff from feeling discriminated against even when they work just as hard as the permanent staff in the company.

    Both KFC and McDonald’s offer their own sets of employee perks and benefits. By having strong retention programs and onboarding strategies, it allows them to have a stable base of hourly workers. The question still remains - which one is better than the other? Ultimately, it is about individual preferences and which benefit one prioritizes. So, we leave it up for you to decide - if you were an hourly worker, which fast food chain would you choose?

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