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Fast food restaurants compete for workers

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Every major road is dotted with ‘Help Wanted’ signs. It’s an effort by the fast-food restaurant industry to get their staffing back up to full speed following the pandemic.

And many are pulling out all the stops. Some fast-food restaurants are paying between $13 and $15 an hour, which is almost double the Ohio minimum wage of $8.80.

Some McDonald’s are offering signing and staying bonuses.

Justin Amburgey owns two Chick-fil-A franchises, and even though they’re up to staff after hiring 90 people in the last three months, it’s still a challenge.

“Winter and spring have been super hard, like we actually had to turn off our curbside business because we couldn’t staff it,” Amburgey said.

Amburgey says they too have increased their wages by about 25%, offering $13 to $15 an hour and holding open interviews on Mondays between 4-6 p.m.

Dr. Laurence Fink, University of Toledo’s Department of Management chairman in the College of Business, says, “There’s a bidding war and other industries can pay more than restaurants. Fewer people graduating from high school or college. Students which would normally supply a lot of the fast food and restaurant workers.”

And the climate for working with the public is also pushing some people away.

“They’re citing just hostile customers that don’t want to follow safety protocols. They feel they’re at risk,” Fink said.

Add to that the bottleneck coming out of a pandemic where all businesses opened back up at the same time and the restaurant industry is struggling.

“Workers will have to be treated, there will be more bonuses,” Fink said. “Restaurants are trying to make it for the ones who are loyal that they’ll have a faster career track upward.”

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