Chile, summer gigs these days are looking about $50,000 better than the days of barely eight bucks an hour! At least, that’s the case for teenagers working at a Texas fast-food chain called Layne’s Chicken Fingers. According to the Daily Mail, the restaurant has reportedly been fast-tracking teen workers into managerial positions due to a staff shortage.
Job openings at Layne’s are going unfulfilled as many workers are opting to cash in on their unemployment checks. As you may already know, COVID-19 relief benefits are reportedly being offered until September. So while some wait for their deposits, these kids are out here getting to the five-figure bag. Layne’s owner Garrett Reed is handing out $50,000 salaries to younger workers willing to take on the challenge of management.
“We’re so thin at leadership that we can’t stretch anymore to open more locations,” Garrett told the Wall Street Journal during an interview. “I’ve got a good crop of 16- and 17-year-olds, but I need another year or two to get them seasoned to run stores.”
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The generous salary stands out in Texas, where the average salary is approximately $30,600. Garrett isn’t the only business owner finding creative ways to retain loyal workers. The entire hospitality industry is reportedly experiencing shortages, so companies like McDonald’s are also looking to raise pay. Over 300,000 job openings in the food-service industry were recorded in April, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
“The biggest challenge for small companies to grow right now is your labor force,” Garrett said. “We’d be growing at twice the rate if we had more people.”
Workers are seemingly taking advantage of the higher pay that sometimes comes with unemployment benefits versus working a nine to five. States like Massachusetts and Washington are handing out about $850-per-week to those who qualify. In order to stay in business, companies have to compete with the lure of “free” payments.
“There’s only so much I can pay and remain profitable without raising prices too much,” Garrett said.
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