We’ll take one Baja Blast, one Cheesy Gordita Crunch, a Crunch Wrap Supreme, and a job application. Taco Bell is giving us something real serious to taco 'bout (pun very much intended). On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that new salaries for Taco Bell location managers are reaching a whopping six figures. Restaurant managers at the popular fast food chain will now be offered a salary of $100,000 amid the rough labor market in America.
Select restaurants around the Midwest and Northeast will be testing the larger salary to see how it pans out. Currently, general managers at company-owned Taco Bell locations are making between $50,000 and $80,000 a year.
In a statement about the salary increase released this week, CEO Mark King said Taco Bell’s responsibility is to "drive positive impact increases” and that, “Our business growth in the last decade has positioned us to create change for good and implement creative solutions for our planet, our people and our food.”
Beyond just this corporation, unemployment is hitting historic lows, with the rate of people without or looking for jobs at 3.5%. While fast food has always been seen as a relatively low-wage job and all about the part-time earnings, fast food chains like Olive Garden and Shake Shack have seen labor inflation hurting margins.
This means that companies are forced to get creative about how they use money and what they invest in. Unemployment lows have also seen fast casual chain restaurants and companies competing for workers, creating a “talent war” of sorts. Fast food companies are now at going to battle for snagging people to work at their respective restaurants, offering them incentives from higher salaries to benefits.
In addition to the announcement about salary — which is monumental for fast food workers — the taco chain is also rolling out paid sick leave for all workers, too. As of January of this year, all employees at company-owned Taco Bell locations will be eligible for at least 24 hours of paid sick time each year.
In conjunction with their new efforts to raise salaries and benefits, Taco Bell recently hopped on the scene with a pop-up Taco Bell Hotel in California, among other schemes to employ more workers and create more buzz around the company. In 2019, they announced a new vegetarian menu and nationwide delivery. Among other ways to up their credentials, it looks like they’re trying to treat workers right.
While fast food work is often seen as something one can only make minimum wage doing, Taco Bell is on the fast track to change the benefits that workers get. It's now on par with In N Out in terms of salary for managers. This could potentially completely change the way that companies operate and encourage other fast food chains to measure up. And by the looks of it, it seems like they’re set to be the taco-f the town.