CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 04: McDonald's CEO Stephen Easterbrook unveils the company's new corporate headquarters during a grand opening ceremony on June 4, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The company headquarters is returning to the city, which it left in 1971, from suburban Oak Brook. Approximately 2,000 people will work from the building. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

These are the 10 highest paid CEOs in the fast food business

When the sociologist Amitai Etzioni first coined the slightly mean term “McJob” for a position with little or no prospects, he probably wasn’t thinking of the CEO. Though the fast food industry has rightly come under fire in recent years for failing to pay the majority of its workforce adequately, there are a few positions that command some serious cash. These burger kings and queens are some of the richest people on earth and prove that, if you play your cards right, there’s more than enough money to be made from the food industry

10. Todd Penegor

Serving as CEO of Wendy’s since 2016, Penegor has been at the head of one of America’s biggest fast food brands. His annual $5.5 million salary shows just how much you can make by mocking Mcdonald’s.

9. Sandra B. Cochran

Despite operating in 650 locations across 45 states, most people wouldn’t put Cracker Barrel in their top 10 most successful food franchises. Nonetheless, their President and CEO Sandra B. Cochran manages to rake in $6.2 million.

8. Kent Taylor

Famous for providing free peanuts to every table, Texas Roadhouse has quickly grown into an internationally recognised brand. Now present in eight countries, CEO Kent Taylor cuts an annual cheque for $6.4 million.

7. Gene Lee

Though Darden Restaurants Inc. will not be a household name for many people, their restaurants are known around the world. With a portfolio including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, it’s hardly surprising that the boss earns over $6.4 million per year.

6. Elizabeth Smith

Famous for pioneering the blooming onion, Bloomin’ Foods Inc are a grill and steak specialist. With properties including Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, CEO Elizabeth Smith earns a whopping $7.4 million every year.

5. Patrick Doyle

Leading one of the biggest names in pizza has its perks. For Doyle, CEO of Domino’s, those perks come in the form of a $7.9 million salary.

4. Steve Ells

Chipotle might get a lot of stick for causing rampant stomach upsets, but there’s little doubting the business’ success. Nothing shows this more clearly than their founder and former CEO Steve Ells’ whopping $11.1 million annual salary.

3. Kevin Johnson

Racially insensitive servers aside, there’s no doubt that Starbucks are still the biggest name in global coffee. Prevalent across the world, Starbucks’ success helps to contribute towards their CEO’s colossal $11.5 million salary.

2. Greg Creed

When you run businesses the size of Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and WingStreet you can expect to live pretty comfortably. As CEO of Yum! Brands Inc., Greg Creed lives the life of luxury on an annual income of $12.4 million.

1. Steve Easterbrook

It’s little surprise that the biggest brand in fast food also has the biggest wage bill. In order to keep the McEmpire in good order, McDonald’s pay CEO Steve Easterbrook a whopping $21.8 million every year.

In any industry, these sorts of salaries would be the stuff that dreams are made of. But, in a sector where so much attention has been paid to an underfunded workforce, it seems more than a little uncomfortable that CEO’s earn so much more than their staff. It’s small wonder that many of them are unhappy about their own financial situation.

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