McDonald’s is raising pay at 650 company-owned stores in the US as part of its push to hire thousands of new workers in a tight labor market, the AP reports. The fast-food giant is also encouraging its franchisees—which make up 95% of its restaurant base—to boost pay. McDonald's follows other chains including Chipotle, which said Monday that it will raise workers’ pay to an average of $15 per hour by the end of June. Darden Restaurants, the owner of Olive Garden and other chains, said it March that it will guarantee workers $12 per hour including tips by 2023. Amazon, Costco and other big companies have all announced pay raises in recent weeks.
McDonald’s, based in Chicago, said Thursday that its hourly wages will increase an average of 10% over the next few months to $13 per hour, rising to $15 per hour by 2024. Entry-level workers will make at least $11 per hour; shift managers will make at least $15 per hour. Fight for $15 and a Union, a labor group which is trying to unionize fast food workers, said the increases aren't enough and it will continue to demand a starting wage of $15 per hour for all McDonald's workers. The group is planning strikes in 15 cities next Wednesday ahead of McDonald's annual shareholders meeting. (More on what this trend by "desperate" companies could mean here.)