Looking to Advance Your Career? Don’t Flip Burgers

By Sam Machado

Employees in the fast-food industry can’t seem to catch a break. Many workers aren’t able to earn promotions or, in some cases,  even allowed to switch to different restaurants based on special clauses in franchise agreements, fact that the New York Times sees as a possible reason for wage stagnation within the industry

All of the fast food titans have some sort of hiring restriction either prohibiting their workers from rising up through the ranks or keeping their employees from switching franchises. Offenders include Burger King, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jr and McDonald’s, the latter two of which are being sued for the practice. 

From the New York Times’ story: 

“The [no hire] provisions can keep employees tied to one spot, unable to switch jobs or negotiate higher pay. A lack of worker mobility has long been viewed as contributing to wage stagnation because switching jobs is one of the most reliable ways to get a raise…

“Professor and economist at Princeton University Alan B. Krueger said, “I think it’s very hard to make the argument that noncompetitive agreements are necessary for low-educated, low-wage workers because they have trade secrets. This practice does have the potential to restrict competition and significantly influence pay.”

The workers’ salaries may have flatlined, but the industry is doing just fine. Since the recession, the fast food industry has enjoyed a 28 percent increase since 2010, nearly double the increase in the overall labor market. Not that these new burger flippers are getting wealthy. The average fast food worker takes home $300 per week before taxes. 

Read the full Times story here.

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