The cafeteria in the city of Medford put a banner outside two weeks ago asking teens to register, which is in line with local labor law.
This comes at a time when fast food chains and other establishments in the United States are struggling to fill vacancies.
Heather Kennedy, operator of the Medford restaurant, told Business Insider that this staffing shortage is unprecedented in her family’s 40-year history of McDonald’s franchises.
Initially, she tried to attract more workers by raising the restaurant’s wages to $15 (R$77.50) an hour, but says that did not generate enough interest.
However, Kennedy said he has received more than 25 new applications since opening its doors to under-16s.
Salaries, bonuses and benefits
McDonald’s declined to comment on the move, but told the BBC that its franchisees are using a number of measures to combat staff shortages, including better salaries, signing bonuses and more benefits.
McDonald’s also recently announced that it will raise wages to an average of $15 an hour at company-owned restaurants across the United States.
This is not the first fast food chain to ask younger workers to fill vacant vacancies.
Branches of Burger King and Wendy’s have put up similar signs recently. And, according to reports, the Texan network Layne’s Chicken Fingers is promoting teen and early 20-year-old workers into managerial positions amid a shortage of more experienced professionals.
US employment laws vary from state to state, but in Oregon, people aged 14 and over can work non-hazardous jobs such as food service as long as their hours are limited to accommodate studies and have adequate rest breaks.
However, this appears to be rare — the average age of a McDonald’s employee in the United States is 27, according to a survey by job site Zippia.
Currently, there is a huge shortage of labor in the United States, because the fear of Covid-19, closed schools and lack of day care keep workers at home.
Some economists also blamed the generous federal benefits granted during the pandemic, even though they have already expired in many states.
Vacancies for lower-skilled, lower-wage jobs have been particularly difficult to fill, prompting companies like Walmart and Amazon to offer retention bonuses and higher starting salaries.