- While most United States fast-food employees make well above the national minimum wage, hourly pay varies depending on the chain.
- Additional factors for pay variation include franchises in states with higher minimum wage laws and higher compensation for manager positions.
- We used self-reported salary information from both Payscale and Glassdoor to take a closer look at what fast-food workers make across the United States, from California’s In-and-Out to Culver’s in the Midwest.
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While dollar menu items are often similar across franchises, equal hourly wages for fast-food workers are not a uniform requirement.
Some fast-food chains are infamous for paying more than others, such as California-based In-and-Out Burger mandating its employees make a whopping $13 an hour. In every chain, assistant manager and manager positions often make more than cashiers or line cooks, but hourly pay also fluctuates depending on state minimum wage laws.
Previous reporting from Business Insider’s Kate Taylor in 2016 confirmed that many fast-food chains increased wages, despite the national standard staying the same since 2009. Still $7.25 an hour, almost all fast-food workers earn more than the national minimum wage. Business Insider’s Morris Pearl reported how increasing wages is the best way to find more fast-food employees, a tactic other companies such as Disney and Target have used with success.
Keep reading for a look at salaries at 17 popular fast-food chains in the United States.
Employees at McDonald’s say they earn around $8 to $9 an hour.
The McDonald brothers started their original hamburger restaurant in California in 1948 and soon expanded their business to nine franchise locations. Today, McDonald’s is the second most popular fast-food chain in the US with approximately 14,000 locations around the country — and a total of 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries around the world.
Wendy’s employees say they earn hourly wages of $8 to $9.
Taco Bell employes say they earn $9 to $10 an hour.
Glen Bell opened the first Taco Bell restaurant in 1962; within five years he had opened 100 franchises. In 2015, the company moved the original restaurant from its foundation in Downey, California to the company headquarters in Irvine to avoid the building’s demolition.
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