Those new service sector jobs

Wanted: Restaurant manager. Competitive salary: $100,000.

The six-figure sum is not being offered at a haute cuisine location with culinary accolades, but at fast-food chain Taco Bell. Amid an increasingly tough U.S. labor market, the company is betting a higher salary will help it attract workers and keep them on the team.

The Yum! Brands Inc.-owned chain will test the higher salary in select restaurants in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast, and will also try a new role for employees who want leadership experience but don’t want to be in the management role.

Here is more by Leslie Patton at Bloomberg, via Joe Weisenthal.


We'll see if they attract McDonald's managers:
"McDonald's managers take home a base salary of $39,000 to $46,000. According to the jobs website PayScale, entry-level McDonald's general managers earn an average salary of around $39,000."

If you were a Taco Bell manager in another town, making less, what would you do? How would your performance or attitude toward work be affected?


Taco Bell is bringing in managers from Mexico to fill those positions under the H-1b visa program.

Interesting. A McDonald's manager could save their entire pretax earnings over 45 working years and would then just barely have a shot at opening a McDonald's franchise.

Duh! That's the starting salary for a first year manager.

Managing a restaurant is hard, with responsibility for hiring and firing, buying, and promoting. My daughter in law managed a restaurant, what I would call high end (healthy) fast food, and she was responsible for every facet of the business and on-call 24/7. A large part of the business was catering, which she promoted. She could manage any restaurant of any size and any level after that experience. $100,000 for a manager of a restaurant is cheap. As for Taco Bell, I don't get it. The food is terrible and the portions small.

Managing a fast food restaurant is one of the best jobs I've ever had. The low pay is precisely why I didn't stick with it after graduating from college, and I often revisit the prospect of buying a franchise to see if it makes financial sense for me. The people who get these jobs are going to be very fortunate, and if any of them save aggressively enough to buy their own franchise, they'll be made.

If one can manage a restaurant, one can manage any business. The experience is priceless. Now, that's from someone whose father was a chef and owned restaurants, where I spent much of my youth, hanging in the kitchen, joking with the staff, helping out (getting in the way), just having fun.

I agree completely. If anyone earns their $100k salary, it's a restaurant manager, particularly one that has to deal with the kinds of problems that come up at a Taco Bell.

You mean like the meat hose getting plugged?

$100,000 for a manager of a restaurant is cheap.

Not according to market salaries, where that's very highly paid.

(PayScale suggests the national average is a hair under half that.

In any case, the margins are low and restaurants that aren't Big Chains tend to run on a shoestring. Big Chains also don't pay that much.

It's a lot of work for that kind of money.

It's great on a resume and you learn a lot, but don't stick with it and expect a lucrative life-long career.)

Sigivald, when one says that $100,000 for a good restaurant manager is cheap, one means cheap in relation to what the manager offers, not in relation to what the market prices the manager. At this blog, markets are perfect, so you will get along quite well with the hosts.

It is Morning in Fast Foods Again. Economic miracles, Iran, hittings, an actor president. The 80's are back.'s%22&f=false

And a hillbilly heroin epidemic instead of crack, with the slow burn of alcoholism beneath both.

That is sad.

So we will rather spend our money getting fat than fixing our infrastructure. That is what we have become.

It's all pork of one kind or another, isn't it.

Not all pork is created equal. As Göring famously pointed out, "Guns will make us powerful; butter will only make us fat." The swme is true abut one pork versus the other.

"The war will end when Goering fits in Goebbel's pants.".
-1945 German gallows humor

Based on US demographics, the job market will be very tight over the next 10-15 years:

Net New
Year 20-Year olds 65-year olds Job Seekers
1990 3,922,700 2,030,539 1,892,161
1995 3,688,057 1,990,388 1,697,669
2000 3,877,486 1,902,213 1,975,273
2005 4,204,478 2,081,186 2,123,292
2010 4,328,791 2,468,133 1,860,658
2015 4,657,765 3,205,727 1,452,038
2020 4,267,820 3,592,164 675,656
2025 4,382,153 4,053,325 328,828
2030 4,495,458 4,131,922 363,535
2035 4,390,049 3,706,133 683,917

Ugh. I thought the formatting would be terrible. Here is 20-year olds minus 65 year olds:

Year Net
1990 | 1,892,161
1995 | 1,697,669
2000 | 1,975,273
2005 | 2,123,292
2010 | 1,860,658
2015 | 1,452,038
2020 | 675,656
2025 | 328,828
2030 | 363,535
2035 | 683,917

Older people are staying in the labor market longer. So your numbers are likely lower than what will occur.

Sure, but they have to retire eventually. Huge difference between 2005 and 2025.

And young people are entering the work force later. The labor shortage will be intense. You can already see it, in the (questionable) abilities of newly hired low- and middle-skilled workers.

For example, beware of pharmacy assistants - they are off-the-street hires, and there are not enough registered pharmacists to supervise them. The pills you get may not be the ones you think you are getting.

In college, I delivered pizzas at two different Domino's store under 4 different managers. The manager is the main thing that affects the success of the store. I would say two of the managers were very good, one was competent, and one was terrible. After the terrible manager took over from a very good one at the one store, food quality, on-time delivery, and (lagging a bit, but not much) sales all declined noticeably within three months. I didn't have enough insight into the store's finances to know how much paying more for a good manager would've been worth, but certainly in the tens of thousands annually.

How many employees are supervised by the restaurant manager? 15-20?

Considering the restaurants with the shortest opening hours are 10AM to 10PM, that's already 12 hours 7 days per week. If restaurant managers are not at the site, they must have an unhealthy attachment to their mobile phones the whole week, no breaks.

Considering the number of people to manage, personnel rotation and super long working hours...100K is low, quite low.

I was getting an egg mcmuffin earlier today for breakfast and noticing how the whole layout of the counter and service-customer interface has changed from a decade of so back. Less direct order and payment taking and a greater ratio of people doing cooking and assembly type work.

I assume as more automation comes into play with both the food prep, packaging and delivery to the waiting customer will also change the role and activities of the people working there (this is hardly a new phenomena or observation).

What it does seem to suggest is the ongoing shift of work towards what I would call exception handling and other soft type skills (customer interaction) and social judgement skills (which really require one to be a human and not merely well programmed of "AI" type intelligence) which is what people tend to do. That this might lead to higher pay for people (where workers start extracting some of the production value from capital) is perhaps a unexpected outcome of the shift in automation for the server related part of the economy.

I think you are right, but some people are dumb as a sack of hammers or otherwise just not cut out for exception handling. These people will cross ZMP once the unexceptional work is automated.

Isn’t work requiring manual dexterity very difficult to automate? I thought that is one of the reasons productivity growth in construction is so low.

I had the good fortune to work for Domino's in AZ back in the mid 90's. At the time, every store in AZ (save Tucson) was a franchise owned by Rick Flory.

Rick had a brilliant structure for his management team. If you wanted to manage a store, he had a training program. You would start at a low-volume store and have an opportunity to prove yourself. If you did well, you'd continue to be moved to larger & larger volume stores.

The stores had profit sharing, so your salary would rise as you moved. Even back then I remember store managers making around $60k a year, and most managers did not have a college degree.

Once you had proven yourself as a manager, there were opportunities for regional and district management roles as well. I recall these folks making 6-figure salaries, and most of them had not gone to college.

The incentive structure was so good, and it was run like a true meritocracy. As a result, the management team was uniformly very good, and everyone had an incentive to improve and pay attention to details. We even had a director of security who was a retired homicide detective. He'd come into stores to make sure you were following appropriate security standards.

A raise for the working class? Can't have that.

The Chamber of Commerce is airdropping campaign contributions over Congress as we speak.

Many Americans, including much of the elite, worked in restaurants when young. I wonder if this will be true in 25 years.

"but at first-world food-chain Taco Bell"

love Taco Bell, but never really thought of them as a "first world" food chain, maybe i should go to the stores with the middle-class managers

Meaning that in a rich country we are accustomed to lousy food, I guess. No self-respecting Mexican would eat there.

I suspect it's because the blog has stumbled onto a topic that a few of the commenters know something about.

"The six-figure sum is not being offered at a haute cuisine location with culinary accolades, but at fast-food chain Taco Bell."

Hmmm: "a haute cuisine location" or "an haute cuisine location"?

Once a writer, always an editor (no matter how many distinct Indo-European languages are deployed in a single sentence).

(I trained through the University of Chicago's own Manual of Style program, but that was with the ancient 13th edition.)

Arguably, the comma used after "accolades" was unnecessary. I leave it to others to quibble about the (seemingly absent) parallelism between "location" and "chain".

The comma "used" after accolades, or was it just the comma after accolades?

Over here in the USA we usually don't drop our aitches, whatever that Manual of Style "program" you "trained through" said.

In referring to the comma that followed "accolades", I wrote "used after" to signify that punctuation does not install itself: a writer or an editor put it there or left it there.

When not pleased to turn English nouns into adjectives, Americans are just as pleased to turn French nouns in adjectives, regardless of their pronunciation.

" . . . to turn French nouns into adjectives, regardless of their pronunciation."

(Always pleased to proof and edit my posts before posting them, I am a tad less pleased to proof and edit after posting them, especially when the prospect of a late supper beckons--alas, no haute cuisine supper.)

So why didn't you say the comma installed after accolades? Get right at what you're trying to say, bro! Don't shilly shally around with weak words like "used" when you are explaining that a writer or editor was installing or un-installing words!

Does the fact that haute is an adjective make the crime even worse? Beats me, I can't even remember much linear algebra, much less this hard stuff.

No pleasing you, hunh?

"Used" is shorter than "installed", and while "usage" is most of what the Chicago Manual of Style (13th ed.) covers and treats, barely thirty pages out of over seven hundred cover or treat punctuation, and not chiefly in terms of "punctuation installation" or "punctuation deletion", not even in terms of "punctuation omission".

(If you read again, you may discern that I used "installed" with facetious intent.)

Yeah, that install word-play was a real knee-slapper.

I trained...I mean studied at the University of Chicago...when the ancient 13th edition was a gleam in the author's eye. It's "an haute cuisine..." A sentence should always be written as though it is being read aloud.

would say "an haute cuisine" out loud?

Can't have that. Better import more people to suppress wages.

A fine-dining restaurant manager or chef de cuisine is LUCKY to make that kind of money.

There's no margins to support that kind of salary at any normal independent restaurant, even a fancy, nice one.

Maybe if you've got a Michelin star or a celebrity chef or something, maybe.

I don't know about that. Waiters can clear 6 figures at fine dining restaurants in trendoid urban areas.

Heck, a good CNC machinist can clear 6 figures here in flyover country manufacturing areas.

I knew a manager at a good chain fast food restauarant in 1997, and he said he was making $100,000 a year. That seemed too high, but he said he works non-stop. In today's dollars, that is $160,000.

Still not a "living wage" according to leftists.

"Restaurants .... have recently called out labor inflation that’s hurting margins."

Notice the framing. If you pay workers properly, they call it "labor inflation". If you overpay underperforming CEOs, then it's all about the American dream and the endless glowing press pieces.

Notice the framing. If you pay workers a hell of a lot more than they'd been paid before, they call it "paying workers properly".

A change in relative prices isn’t inflation. Low pay work has become more expensive, while inflation has been consistently beneath 2%.

This is the labor market that we could have had years ago if the Fed has hot been so gun-shy about using QE (or about allowing inflation to exceed 2%, I've never understood their hang-up).

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