In the 80s, corporate America scoffed at the idea of anyone working a “McJob”. Mocked for their supposedly menial and unfulfilling nature, careers in the fast food industry were almost universally seen as the bottom of the social ladder, a burger flipping fate that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Though that perception was mostly based on bullsh*t, the snobs still felt superior. Which makes it all the more satisfying that times seem to be changing.
In a development that will doubtless shock anyone who’s ever looked down their nose at a fast food employee, data provided by California-based chain In-N-Out reveals that a career in speedy cooking can be just as lucrative as a more “respected” profession. According to the latest salary information provided by the business, published in January this year, restaurant managers at In-N-Out can expect to take home around $160,000 a year. Using jobs’ board Indeed as a salary comparison, this makes it a more lucrative position than an architect ($112,000), or a software engineer ($115,000). Eat it, industry snobs.
Video shows why we might have all been eating burgers wrong:
In an email sent to the California Sun, In-N-Out Burger vice president Denny Warnick revealed that adequate remuneration is a key cornerstone of their business. Discussing the pillars established by business founders Harry and Esther Snyder in 1948, Warnick revealed that, “Paying their associates well was just one way to help maintain that focus, and those beliefs remain firmly in place with us today.”
Evidence suggests that In-N-Out are certainly putting their money where their mouth is. Data from Indeed suggests that the $160,000 salary is around triple the industry average, and this is echoed by the work of Saru Jayaraman of the Food Labor Research Centre. According to Jayaraman, “In-N-Out is just eons above everybody else. On wages and benefits, they really are the best large chain.”
It isn’t just top-level employees that benefit from In-N-Out’s holistic approach to payment. California Sun also report that the company pay all of their employees more than the minimum wage, offering $13-per-hour as a starting salary. While this is not yet the norm across the industry, the hope is that others will soon follow In-N-Out’s lead. Either way, it looks like jokes about McJobs will soon be a thing of the past.