Company Also Expands Educational Opportunities to Include Free High School Completion and College Tuition Assistance for All U.S. Restaurant Employees

OAK BROOK, IL–(Marketwired – Apr 1, 2015) – McDonald’s USA (NYSE: MCD) today announced enhanced benefits for employees at its company-owned restaurants, including a wage increase and paid time-off for full and part-time crew employees. In addition, the company is expanding its Archways to Opportunities education offerings to provide eligible U.S. restaurant employees — at both company-owned and franchised restaurants — with free high school completion and college tuition assistance.

“We’ve been working on a comprehensive benefits package for our employees — the people who bring our brand to life for customers every day in our U.S. restaurants,” said McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook. “We’ve listened to our employees and learned that — in addition to increased wages — paid personal leave and financial assistance for completing their education would make a real difference in their careers and lives.”

On July 1, 2015, starting wages at McDonald’s company-owned restaurants in the U.S. will be one dollar over the locally-mandated minimum wage. The wages of all employees up to restaurant manager will be adjusted accordingly based on tenure and job performance. By the end of 2016, McDonald’s projects that the average hourly wage rate for McDonald’s employees at company-owned restaurants will be in excess of $10.

Also on July 1, full- and part-time crew employees at company-owned restaurants, with at least one year of service, will begin to accrue personal paid time-off. For example, an employee who works an average of 20 hours per week will be eligible to accrue approximately 20 hours of paid time off per year. If these employees don’t take the time off they’ve earned, they will be paid for the value of that time.

These two benefit enhancements apply to McDonald’s company-owned restaurants, which represent more than 90,000 employees and about 10 percent of McDonald’s restaurants nationwide. The more than 3,100 McDonald’s franchisees operate their individual businesses and make their own decisions on pay and benefits for their employees.

“We are acting with a renewed sense of energy and purpose to turn our business around,” Easterbrook said. “We know that a motivated workforce leads to better customer service so we believe this initial step not only benefits our employees, it will improve the McDonald’s restaurant experience. We’ll continue to evaluate opportunities that will make a difference for our people.”

In addition, McDonald’s USA is increasing efforts to help the approximately 750,000 employees who work in a McDonald’s restaurant — company- and independently-owned — achieve a higher level of education by expanding its Archways to Education offerings to include free high school completion and college tuition assistance. This program also reflects the values of the men and women who own McDonald’s franchises, and understand the value of opportunity.

Through Career Online High School (COHS), a national accredited program, eligible restaurant employees can take classes required to earn a high school diploma when and where it’s convenient for them and McDonald’s USA will cover the costs. For those seeking a college education, McDonald’s will assist with college credits and tuition assistance. And, for those who speak English as a second language, McDonald’s is expanding its offering of free English language classes.

“We believe that education is the true game changer as it helps our employees succeed, within our company and beyond,” said McDonald’s U.S. President Mike Andres. “Businesses like ours have a vested interest in helping to create an educated and well-trained workforce. We know that learning doesn’t only take place in the classroom. It also happens in the workplace.”

McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to approximately 27 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook