Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Old 05-06-18, 08:01 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,851
Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

I wasn't sure this should go in Politics so if a mod wants to move it to the Other umbrella that's cool too.

Here's the link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/03/u...-shortage.html

Here's the text:

A Fast-Food Problem: Where Have All the Teenagers Gone?

By Rachel Abrams and Robert Gebeloff
May 3, 2018

A quarter-century ago, there were 56 teenagers in the labor force for every “limited service” restaurant — that is, the kind where you order at the counter.

Today, there are fewer than half as many, which is a reflection both of teenagers’ decreasing work force participation and of the explosive growth in restaurants.

But in an industry where cheap labor is an essential component in providing inexpensive food, a shortage of workers is changing the equation upon which fast-food places have long relied. This can be seen in rising wages, in a growth of incentives, and in the sometimes odd situations that business owners find themselves in.

This is why Jeffrey Kaplow, for example, spends a lot of time working behind the counter in his Subway restaurant in Lower Manhattan. It’s not what he pictured himself doing, but he simply doesn’t have enough employees.

Mr. Kaplow has tried everything he can think of to find workers, placing Craigslist ads, asking other franchisees for referrals, seeking to hire people from Subways that have closed.

Yet there he was during a recent lunchtime rush, ringing up veggie footlongs and fountain drinks. He feared that if the line grew too long, people might get frustrated and not come back.

“Every time there’s a huge line, the next day the store is nowhere near as busy,” he explained later as he straightened tables and swept up crumbs.

Across the country, Keith Miller, another franchisee, is dealing with the same problem. “What employees? We don’t have them anymore,” joked Mr. Miller, who can’t find enough workers for the three Subways he owns in Northern California.

Since 2010, fast-food jobs have grown nearly twice as fast as employment over all, contributing to the economic recovery. But rapid growth has created new problems. Some say restaurants have grown faster than demand, causing a glut of competition that is another source of pressure on business owners.

Restaurant owners are also worrying about increased immigration enforcement: Nearly 20 percent of workers are foreign-born.

With unemployment at a 17-year low, businesses everywhere are struggling to find workers. Fast food is feeling the pinch acutely, especially as one important source of workers has dried up. In 2000, about 45 percent of those between 16 and 19 had a job — today it’s 30 percent.

“We used to get overwhelmed with the number of people wanting summer jobs,” Mr. Miller said, adding that he now gets maybe a handful of such applications, at most. “I don’t know what teenagers do all summer.”

Gavin Poole, a 17-year-old senior at Montville Township High School in New Jersey, likes the idea of being his own boss — that’s one reason he created a small business out of after-school landscaping and handyman work. The money has helped cover his cellphone bill and the payments on the Jeep Wrangler he leased last year. “I want to be prepared for the future, because you don’t know, financially, what situation you could be in,” he said.

A recent analysis by economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that an increased emphasis on education — and getting scholarships — had contributed to the decline in working teenagers, reflecting both the rising costs of education and the low wages most people that age can earn.

Now, after years of benefiting from low-cost labor, many employers are starting to pay more. Fast-food wages began rising in 2014, and have increased faster than overall wages since. But at $10.93 an hour, the pay is still less than half the average for an hourly employee, pushing companies to offer more incentives — like dental insurance, sign-up bonuses and even travel reimbursement — to entice workers.

That’s good news for workers like Juan Morales, who has assembled sandwiches at a Subway on Staten Island for more than 15 years.
Comments

“It’s much better than before,” said Mr. Morales, who earns a little more than $15 an hour. “But for my boss, I see that it’s harder.”

Restaurants are notorious for churning through employees. But people are coming and going faster than they have in recent memory, according to data from TDn2K, a restaurant research firm. Last year, the turnover rate reached 133 percent, meaning that positions often had to be filled more than once.

That has forced business owners to adjust.

Tamra Kennedy, who owns nine Taco John’s franchises in the Midwest, started offering $100 as a bonus to new employees who reached 100 hours. She has started offering merit increases twice a year, and she pays all employees more than the minimum wage.

“Hiring has been more challenging in the last two years than probably the previous 10,” Ms. Kennedy said.

About half of her stores are understaffed. So she has devised workarounds: Digital probes, not people, now record food temperatures. She has also invested in expensive new registers that can produce reports that employees used to do by hand.

“I’ve never seen the industry in this kind of situation,” said Robert S. Goldin, a partner at the food consulting firm Pentallect. “It’s never been like this.”

Labor costs are rising, according to an estimate from Dean Haskell, a partner at National Retail Concept Partners, a restaurant and retail consulting firm in Denver. Mr. Haskell analyzed public financial filings from 15 major chains and determined that those companies spent about $73 million more on labor last year than the year before.

McDonald’s has announced that it will expand its tuition-reimbursement program, committing $150 million over five years to tuition reimbursement for employees who work at its stores for at least 90 days. Before, the requirement was nine months.

That $150 million might seem like a lot. But replacing workers is also expensive: It costs about $2,000 to replace the average hourly restaurant worker, according to data from TDn2K.

“Thirty years ago, I would not put up with the stuff I put up with today,” said John Motta, a longtime Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee in Nashua, N.H. When an employee recently missed a shift, one of his stores could serve only drive-through customers for about an hour.

“You try not to be too harsh on them,” he said, “because you’re afraid tomorrow they’re not going to show up.”

* * * * * * *

It's not mentioned in the article unless I missed it, but one factor I thought might account for this is that kids today tend to be more involved in after school activities, clubs, lessons, sports, etc. than they were in the seventies and eighties when I was a teenager.

Thoughts?
Vibiana is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:09 AM
  #2  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,582
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Lots of today's kids feel a sense of entitlement.

Talk about Universal Guaranteed Income (or whatever it's called) doesn't seem likely to affect that attitude.


“Thirty years ago, I would not put up with the stuff I put up with today,” said John Motta, a longtime Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee in Nashua, N.H. When an employee recently missed a shift, one of his stores could serve only drive-through customers for about an hour.

“You try not to be too harsh on them,” he said, “because you’re afraid tomorrow they’re not going to show up.”
creekdipper is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:14 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 17,628
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Agree that number one issue is that college bound kids now have to be so active (sports, civic volunteering, school leadership, music, etc.

I often wonder where the teenage jobs have gone. One thing I notice is that jobs that were once part time and seasonal have become full time and year round.

My first job when I was 16 was a sort of glorified security guard slash parking enforcement for a gated trailer park. It was a position they only had seasonally on the weekends during summer when traffic and congestion were the worst. Today, 20 years later, I drive by the place and I see they have a permanent booth to house the guy who does the job 7 days a week year round. It’s become a job a teen can’t do anymore.

Another popular teen job was collecting tolls on a local car ferry. Highly seasonal with a big increase in traffic in the summer. Today it’s all adults who have full time year round shifts.

Paper routes have been given to men who can drive because their beat up van covers more territory.
Mabuse is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:26 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 17,628
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

A couple other observations:

-The place I see the most young, fresh faced fast food workers....In N Out. A company that famously pays workers handsomely.

-When you pay low wages you get shitty workers and high turnover.

-Branding is important. Fucking Subway and Starbucks and MacDonalds are places people are ashamed to work at. They are THAT bad. In my town there’s two businesses whose branding and style lend it enormous social cache. There’s a French bakery that is staffed entirely by young, gorgeous, trendy people under 25. Working there is no different than Starbucks, but being seen behind that counter caries enormous social cache. They’re getting buried in resumes from young hip kids. There’s a burger joint by the beach that is staffed entirely with gorgeous girls. Do they pay better than MacDonalds? Probably not much, but working there is a sign of distinction (as superficial as that might be).

- Most franchise chains have bad reputations, especially among young people. Work at Payless? Fuck no. Work at the local surfboard shop? Fuck yeah.

-When I’m on local apps like Nextdoor I constantly see teens that are offering services. Dog walking, baby sitting, and IT fixes. I see kids on a daily basis who say they will set up your home theater, get your Ring doorbell to synch with your iPad, transfer your home movies to the Cloud. Teens have all the tech knowledge without even going to school for training. And that stuff has more flexible hours.

Last edited by Mabuse; 05-06-18 at 08:45 AM.
Mabuse is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:35 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,451
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

I call bullshit. It's a new workforce. Older people take these jobs as well. And depends on the city/area.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:42 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Reviewer/ Admin
 
Adam Tyner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Greenville, South Cackalack
Posts: 21,599
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
-The place I see the most young, fresh faced fast food workers....In N Out.
I'm on the opposite end of the country, but it's a similar story in the Southeast with Chick-Fil-A.
Adam Tyner is online now  
Old 05-06-18, 08:43 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
hdnmickey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Cygnus
Posts: 12,524
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
It's not mentioned in the article unless I missed it, but one factor I thought might account for this is that kids today tend to be more involved in after school activities, clubs, lessons, sports, etc. than they were in the seventies and eighties when I was a teenager.

Thoughts?
My first thought is that at least around here there are fewer school programs at that age, so that's not it. But there also seems to be more options for sports/music/arts outside of school programs, so that could be a factor.

As I occasionally visit the local restaurants I've also noticed they have generally had the same staff for long periods of time. From counter help to managers. But one factor that I notice hat the article doesn't touch on is the number of older (retirement age?) folks that also work there. Maybe I just didn't notice, but that seemed to be rare back when I was a teen that could have worked at these places. FF restaurant staffs were filled with kids from high schools when I was that age. Even a lot of the managers were slightly older kids that didn't go to college and had worked their way through the placement system for that franchise. One of my friends went that route, and made decent money, if you're into having to deal with teens all day.
hdnmickey is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:47 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 17,628
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
I'm on the opposite end of the country, but it's a similar story in the Southeast with Chick-Fil-A.
Chick Fil A is killing it here in California too. They’re the new In N Out. Curiously both are Christian companies. Hmmmmmmm
Mabuse is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:50 AM
  #9  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,582
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
One of my friends went that route, and made decent money, if you're into having to deal with teens all day.
They should try working with 150 teens per day who aren't getting paid to work.

You're right about older workers. They have more at stake...mouths to feed, bills to pay, etc. So they can be a more dependable hire (and may have the added benefit of experience). On the other hand, when I had a job in college at a fast food joint, some of the most motivated were high school kids, and some of the biggest shirkers were middle-aged.

Last edited by creekdipper; 05-06-18 at 08:57 AM.
creekdipper is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:52 AM
  #10  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,582
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Chick Fil A is killing it here in California too. They’re the new In N Out. Curiously both are Christian companies. Hmmmmmmm
Well, for one thing, CFA workers are guaranteed to have Sundays off.
creekdipper is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 11:31 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,806
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

I actually worked at a Subway in high school. It was before became the rapidly expanding juggernaut that it later became but I doubt the job has changed that much. In some respects, working at Subway is easier than a lot of other fast food jobs as there are no grills, no deep fryers, usually not a massive lobby, etc. However, in one key respect, it is more annoying in that "sandwich artists" have to deal with customers a lot more than at most fast food. And unlike a place like Chipotle, there really aren't any "back of the house" positions at Subway. So if you aren't a real "people person", Subway is one of the worst fast food jobs to have. It also makes Subway a tough fit for immigrants who don't have reasonably strong English-language skills, which also rules out a lot of would-be employees in many areas.
jfoobar is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 12:04 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 18,459
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

In the time that’s passed between when I was working my high school/college job at a grocery store and my current job (around seven years) I’ve definitely noticed this happening in my area and seemingly other surrounding areas I visit. Jobs in fast food, retail, grocery stores etc. that at one time largely depended on the part time help of kids in that age bracket definitely seems like it’s gone down considerably. It seems like now a lot of those places are understaffed or left with questionable help (people that aren’t the greatest but were probably hired because they were the only applicants). I agree about extra curricular activities being at least partially to blame. It seems like there’s a lot of emphasis placed on those types of things and for a lot of kids that basically is their “job”. It also seems like some kids look down on traditional part time jobs or something.
Mike86 is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 12:31 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Home again, Big D
Posts: 28,830
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

My daughter is about to get her grad degree in August. She has gone all 6 years away from home at two different colleges. This is what I did with her re:work. And I’m sure many will disagree.

-no working freshman year. She went to s small private HS and going to a largish State college I felt could be overwhelming.
-encouraged her to work “wherever” her sophomore year. No more than 15-18 hours week (except on breaks). She did work “fast food”.
-either intern or work in her field starting her Jr. year. She did and has done so on/off for the past 4 years. Some times this was an intern/volunteer (no pay). Other times pay was involved.

My logic was, I was paying so much for college it was “silly” for her to work for MW if it messed up or effected school. I’d rather just pay her spending money than risk “losing” the money I was spending for school.

She actually wanted to work to help pay. But fortunately I didn’t need her to so I wanted her focusing on school and then with the area she plans to work.

I don’t know if other parents are taking that approach (if they can) or not.
Sdallnct is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 12:47 PM
  #14  
Moderator
 
TheBigDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,677
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

When I was in high school back in the 80's, everyone wanted to work at a local fast food joint. All the popular kids worked at either McDonalds or Square Pan Pizza in the mall.
TheBigDave is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 03:40 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,358
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

My uncle paid his way through Harvard Law with the G.I. bill and working at a gas station. I can't imagine that today the amount of money paid by gas stations would even touch the amount of money charged for Harvard Law.

Sdallnct may be right. Who would want to work at an entry-level job to earn what's a pittance compared to college debt? They risk poor grades because they're working instead of studying or resting. Or they could be doing those high school extracurricular activities that look good on a college application.

The kind of smart, motivated young people that fast food owners want to hire have better things to do than fry burgers.
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 03:48 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 18,459
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

I think the point of a part time job for a kid in high school or college isn’t how much money you’re making or how great the job is. It’s more the idea of getting experience in the real world and interacting with people (co-workers and customers). Extra curricular activities in my opinion should be just that but now there’s a lot of emphasis on them that it takes any time away from having a job. Also the work force needs those kinds of positions filled or businesses just start suffering. No wonder so many places are going out of business, half it is probably not having the needed help. I get that other factors are involved too but if you don’t have people running your business it’s going to hurt you in the long run. A lot of places relied on their younger part time help to keep things flowing smoothly. Now everyone thinks that they should just go to college and be making big money right off the bat and anything else isn’t worthwhile. It’s a very entitled mentality that a lot of people have now days.
Mike86 is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 04:01 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,358
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

An awful lot of employers require a degree to get a basic position. Can you really make a career nowadays with only a diploma?
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 04:15 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 18,459
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
An awful lot of employers require a degree to get a basic position. Can you really make a career nowadays with only a diploma?
Since when is unheard of to have a job part time and go to college? People did it for years and there’s no reason the current generation shouldn’t be able to do the same. I’m not saying that job has to become your career but I still think part time work is important for developing real world work skills plus just keeping society going. Of course the way things are on track everything is going to be a virtual world and soon we’ll have the options of Amazon or Walmart and maybe Target for our basic needs..
Mike86 is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 04:39 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 22,358
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Since when is unheard of to have a job part time and go to college? People did it for years and there’s no reason the current generation shouldn’t be able to do the same. I’m not saying that job has to become your career but I still think part time work is important for developing real world work skills plus just keeping society going. Of course the way things are on track everything is going to be a virtual world and soon we’ll have the options of Amazon or Walmart and maybe Target for our basic needs..
I agree that having a job is a useful part of learning to be an adult.

Other things include sharing a bedroom with a sibling and playing pickup sports in the park. We're losing some useful things as we become more affluent.
Nick Danger is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 04:46 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Mike86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 18,459
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Don’t get me wrong some extra curricular activity is good (I probably could have used more of it) but I just think that some people are focused solely on what they want to do and aren’t learning responsibility. School activities tend to eat up a lot of free time for kids and that takes away from them being able to work.
Mike86 is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 05:13 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
hdnmickey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Cygnus
Posts: 12,524
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

If education is the goal, I would much rather see my kid(s) focus any extra time on schoolwork rather than have some entry level job that will go no where. When they hopefully get to college, that when things like summer intern jobs and the like can start. We'll be getting our new crop off summer interns a work in a few weeks.
hdnmickey is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 06:23 PM
  #22  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 21,582
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

I know many young "professionals" who worked minimum wage jobs and developed characteristic s such as punctuality, courtesy, perseverance, dedication, cooperation, adaptation, commitment, etc. Those stood them in good stead in their later careers. They also learned to budget their time and the value of earned money.

If spare time is the issue, I know plenty of home-schooled kids who get their lessons done in Far less time and have time for jobs and extracurricular activities.
creekdipper is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 07:01 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,851
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I agree that having a job is a useful part of learning to be an adult.

Other things include sharing a bedroom with a sibling and playing pickup sports in the park. We're losing some useful things as we become more affluent.
Up until I was about eight years old I actually shared a room with my two-years-older-than-me brother. I was the only girl, so you'd think I'd've gotten my own room, but no. We lived in a 900 sq ft 1960s tract house and there were five kids. My youngest brother and I didn't get rooms of our own until the first few were grown and flown.
Vibiana is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 07:26 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,806
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
I know many young "professionals" who worked minimum wage jobs and developed characteristic s such as punctuality, courtesy, perseverance, dedication, cooperation, adaptation, commitment, etc. Those stood them in good stead in their later careers. They also learned to budget their time and the value of earned money.
I tend to agree. I would be somewhat reluctant to hire someone fresh out of college who had very little work history at "real" jobs (as opposed to just internships). I don't disagree with focusing on studies on college (and somewhat agree with Sdallnct's idea of no work allowed during a child's freshman year), but some real clock-punching work experience in high school is usually going to be beneficial.
jfoobar is offline  
Old 05-06-18, 08:13 PM
  #25  
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: In Fantasy Land
Posts: 2
Re: Fast food chains understaffed because teens reject jobs there

When you're a teenager, you need working permit right? As a minor you are also limited on the hours you can work. I see tons of teens working where I live.

Also, as someone who is in their 20s, I have worked with teenagers since I was a teenager. There is little difference I have notice in work ethic. Some work hard and some are very lazy, like most people. Regardless of age, if they do not show up or do a half done job, they remain employed. It pisses me off. I will say most fast food restaurants I have done too, had younger people. It has been a hit or miss in food quality. It depends on your state and area.

Internships and volunteer work should be enough. Education should always be a priority. After school activities are great too. I didn't work in high school because I wanted fantastic grades, get scholarships and go to a good college. I did start working right after graduation, and I wish I focused more on college. I worked too much, and did not study as much as I should had. I honestly do not blame some kids for not rushing to their after school fast food job. Sometimes they drop out of school and stay at those jobs. There are many internships that greatly help when they relate to your major. Everyone is different. I think retail is better to work for then fast food.

As a teenager, I had a friend who did landscaping during the summers. He would make fantastic money. He had 2 cars; a pick up truck for landscaping and a sedan for other personal use. He was able to get an actually landscaping job after that. Everyone is different. Everyone wants something different. College is not for everyone, and there are many other options that may be a better choice.

Personally, why would an employer pay more for someone with no experience or very little with no higher then a high school education? The wage is fine unless your a teenager living alone. My wage is not fine, and I have bills and student loans to pay. I work where I have to..

I guess I feel like this article is lacking in many areas..

PS: They should also be able to live as teenagers. There is only one life.
ameme91 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.