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Taco Bell to test $100,000 manager salary and paid sick leave

Business Insider logo Business Insider 1/9/2020 Kate Taylor
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Taco Bell is looking for new ways to win over employees in the war for talent.

On Thursday, the fast-food chain announced it will test a $100,000 salary for restaurants' general managers at certain company-owned locations starting later this year. Taco Bell also announced that all employees at company-owned stores are eligible for at least 24 hours of paid sick time per year, starting January 1.

In a press release, Taco Bell said that it aims to enhance restaurant performance and employee satisfaction, contributing to locations' recruitment and retention.

Fast-food chains are battling for talent as unemployment hovers around all-time lows. In November, the US unemployment rate was at 3.5%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in early December.

Major retailers have responded to the war for talent by raising wages, with companies including Amazon, Target, and Costco boosting their minimum pay. Fast-food chains have primarily focused on perks, such as Shake Shack testing a four-day work week and Starbucks adding new mental health benefits.

However, some workers have pushed back on the benefits when they are not coupled with higher pay - something that could help set Taco Bell apart from the competition. For example, some Starbucks workers have pushed back against subscriptions to a meditation app, instead seeking an end to understaffing and higher pay.

"As Taco Bell expands its footprint, our responsibility to drive positive impact increases," Taco Bell CEO Mark King said in a statement on Thursday. "Our business growth in the last decade has positioned us to create change for good and implement creative solutions for our planet, our people and our food."

Taco Bell © Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg Taco Bell

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