The fast-food industry is heating up with competition, causing chains to add more work perks to retain current employees and use recruiting services to find new ones.
According to Bloomberg, the urgency of attracting new workers is a leading indicator of labor shortage. In fact, the unemployment rate in the U.S. for December 2016 was 4.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since November 2007 (and briefly in May 2016). In September 2016, the turnover rate for workers in the restaurant industry reached 113 percent, the highest since People Report started collecting data in 1995.
Restaurant and fast-food chain workers are actively working to raise retention rates by offering raises to hourly wages and giving referral bonuses.
Eddie Rodriguez, who operates 177 Wendy’s locations in Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, has given $250 bonuses to employees who found prospective workers. Rodriguez even offers more flexible schedules and uses headhunters to find staff.
One of Rodriguez’s employees, Lisa Aragon, who is a manager at a Wendy’s in Albuquerque, had one headhunter come to her five times in a month with offers including higher pay and four weeks of paid vacation.
“I told him, ‘I’m happy where I’m at,”’ Aragon told Bloomberg. “There’s no need for change right now.”
Aragon is expecting quarterly bonuses and a raise in pay as a trainer.