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Money News

Why Your Next Job Could be at Taco Bell

January 14, 2020

2 min read

You may know you can get married in a Taco Bell, but did you know that you could also earn $100,000 for working in one?

Last week, the fast-food chain announced that one of its commitments for 2020 will include bumping up the salaries for the general managers of its restaurants in some locations to a whopping six figures. (Its other goals for the year include offering more vegetarian-friendly fare in its Tex-Mex lineup, as well as a commitment to 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025.)

General managers at Taco Bell restaurants tend to earn between $50,000 and $80,000 according to reports. Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, which also owns the restaurant chains KFC and Pizza Hut.

Why is Taco Bell doing this?

The unemployment rate is currently 3.5%, a 50-year low. And there’s more competition than ever for employees everywhere, especially at fast food chains, according to sources.

One way to attract employees is by paying them more.  But increasing labor costs—including those $100,000 salaries—can come at a cost to businesses and consumers. Executives in the restaurant industry say increasing salaries are eating into profits, and pushing some chains into bankruptcy. It’s also led to increased food prices for consumers when they eat out, of about 3.5%.

Executives at Shake Shack and Darden Inc., which owns Olive Garden, have said that the increasing cost of labor has hurt profits, according to Bloomberg.

More than 12 million workers are employed in the fast food services industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s about equivalent to the number of people who work in the manufacturing sector.

Fast food is part of the services sector. Nearly three quarters of all U.S. employees—about 107 million people, according to the BLS—are part of the service sector.

Who earns $100,000?

Only about 14% of U.S. workers earn incomes between $100,000 and $150,000 annually, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median wage nationally is about $63,000.

Some of the most popular jobs that pay in the low six figures annually include nurse practitioners, software programmers, and some teaching positions.

The importance of saving

Whether you earn $40,000 annually or $100,000, it’s important to consider setting a budget and saving money for near-term and short term financial goals. Those goals could include creating an emergency fund, and saving for retirement.

You can learn more about setting a budget here.

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By Jeremy Quittner
Jeremy Quittner is the senior writer for Stash.

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