's is increasing pay at 650 company-owned stores in the United States as part of an effort to hire thousands of new workers in a tight labor market.
The fast-food behemoth is also encouraging its franchisees, who account for 95% of its restaurant base, to raise wages.
McDonald's follows other chains such as Chipotle
, which announced Monday that it will raise worker pay to an average of $15 per hour by the end of June, and Darden Restaurants
, which owns Olive Garden and other chains, announced in March that it will guarantee workers $12 per hour plus tips by 2023.
In recent weeks, Amazon
, Costco, and other large corporations have all announced pay raises.
Wages and benefits for US workers have been rapidly increasing as vaccination
rates rise and employers try to meet rising demand in Restaurants and other businesses. According to the Labor Department
, total compensation for US workers increased 0.9% in the first three months of this year, the largest increase in more than 13 years.
McDonald's, based in Chicago, announced Thursday that hourly wages will rise by an average of 10% over the next few months to $13 per hour, rising to $15 per hour by 2024, with entry-level workers earning at least $11 per hour and shift managers earning at least $15.
Fight for $15 and a Union, a labor organization that is attempting to unionize fast food workers, stated that the increases are insufficient and that it will continue to demand a starting wage of $15 per hour for all McDonald's employees.
“Clearly, McDonald’s understands that in order to hire and retain talented workers, something needs to change,” Doneshia Babbitt, a union organizer and McDonald’s employee, said in a statement. “Now, they’re raising pay for some of us and using fancy math tricks to hide the fact that they’re selling most of us short.”
Strikes in 15 cities are planned for next Wednesday, ahead of McDonald's annual shareholder meeting.
The vast majority of McDonald's nearly 14,000 U.S. locations, however, are owned by franchisees who set their own pay in their own Restaurants.
McDonald's stated that it does not have wage data for franchised Restaurants, but that it is requesting that they do so.
“We encourage all of our owner/operators to make this same commitment to their restaurant teams in ways that make the most sense for their community, their people
, and their long-term growth,” McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger wrote in an employee letter.
The US National Franchisee Leadership Alliance, which negotiates with the company on behalf of franchisees, expressed support for the wage increases in a prepared statement and encouraged Restaurants to remain competitive in their local markets.