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The U.S. is in the throes of the Great Resignation, leading businesses of all kinds to look for ways to find and keep a full staff of employees. Like many other restaurant and retail chains, Taco Bell has announced plans to increase the starting wage at all of its company-owned restaurants.
However, the raise won’t go into effect anytime soon, and the starting wage may not be increased across the board. According to a statement by the fast food restaurant chain, it has “taken steps to increasing the average minimum wage to $15 per hour across company restaurants by mid-year 2024.”
Taco Bell is also introducing a new leadership development program called “The Entrepreneur.” The program aims to develop general managers in company-owned restaurants with a base pay of $80,000, with an earning potential of up to $100,000 with bonuses.
These changes are coming to corporate-owned locations — a relatively small number of restaurants. Nerd Wallet reports that more than 90% of Taco Bells are owned by franchisees.
“Usually when you hear us talking about value, it’s in reference to our delicious menu,” Mark King, Taco Bell CEO, said in a statement. “But next year, we’ll be talking a lot more about value in a different sense — our brand values. Our purpose, what we care about and what we stand for. Looking ahead to 2022, we’re bringing different ideas, setting new, bold goals and holding ourselves accountable so that, together, we create a future that is craveable, sustainable and equitable.”
Whether the changes will be enough to appeal to workers remains to be seen. A trending post on Reddit is asking people to boycott Taco Bell.
“We are breaking,” wrote u/SuperSpeedyMcGee on the popular “antiwork” subreddit.
The Redditor stated that while management earns monthly bonuses on up-sales, crew members get gift cards “if we’re ‘lucky.'”
“We do all the work, and I personally have one of the highest up-sale percentages. Where’s our bonus at,” the post, which has more than 45,000 upvotes, continues. “On top of that we get screamed at by customers for asking and then I get yelled at by management if I forget to ask. We’ve been told to have a more positive attitude whenever we bring up the fact that we should have a bonus as well.”