McDonald’s Employee Benefits Review: Are Their Careers Worth It?

McDonald’s Employee Benefits Review: Are Their Careers Worth It?
4 Ratings

Generally speaking, most fast-food restaurants tend to overlook their employees, so taking a look at McDonald’s employee benefits provides an interesting composite of the industry.

McDonald’s Corporation is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world, serving almost 70 million daily customers, through 37,588 restaurants, in over 100 countries. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940 in San Bernardino, California. In 1948, they introduced the concept of the ‘Speedee Service System’ (what became known as ‘fast food’), and by 1953, they had their iconic Golden Arches logo.

McDonald’s Corporation currently employs around 210,000 people. If you count its franchise employees, the number rises to 1.9 million – making it the second-largest employer in the world, after Walmart. McDonald’s annual revenue for 2018 was $21 billion, and it currently sits at number 149 on the Fortune 500.

If you’re looking for a job at McDonald’s, continue reading to learn more about its employee benefits.

McDonald’s Employee Benefits Team


Melissa Kersey — Senior Vice President and U.S. Chief People Officer

Melissa Kersey became McDonald’s Executive VP & Chief People Officer in October 2017. She leads the global HR and training program for McDonald’s.

Before joining McDonald’s she was the SVP of Global People for Walmart, where she helped to modernize their People function and People practices. She has also observed other HR roles at Alltell.

Kersey received her bachelor’s degree in 1995 from Emporia University.

Find Melissa Kersey on:



What are McDonald’s Employee Benefits?

Employee BenefitDescription
Health InsuranceHealth plan is provided to all employees and has good coverage but there are relatively high deductibles.
Dental InsuranceProvided to all employees and covers all aspects with free cleanings twice a year.  
Occupational Accident InsuranceIf any employee gets into an accident on a McDonald’s site, they are liable for compensation. However, it doesn’t include small injuries like burn marks from the grill.
Life InsuranceIt’s provided to all employees at the manager level or above in restaurants and to all employees in the corporate offices.
401(k) PlanYou are matched dollar for dollar, however, it can vary according to the franchises. There is no Roth option.
Performance BonusEmployees who work more efficiently, longer, and better are given minor performance bonuses that are accumulated and paid by the end of the month.
Supplemental Workers' CompensationIf you’re injured on duty and are recovering at home, you get workers compensation.
Maternity & Paternity LeaveFor maternity leave, it’s 4 weeks before birth and 3 months after, you can get another 2 months’ unpaid leave. For paternity leave, it’s one week after birth.
Reduced or Flexible HoursYou can be very flexible with hours you put in. The maximum per week is 40 hours and you can divide the hours in the week as you want.
Family Medical LeaveYou are allowed to leave if there is a medical emergency in the immediate family. You can take up to two weeks off (unpaid).
Vacation & Paid Time OffFor new employees, it’s 3 weeks of vacation per year but it can be extended to 5 weeks (1 week increases every 5 years you work at the company).
Free Lunch & SnacksFor full-time employees, you can have as much free food you want. For hourly employees, you get one free meal in your break.
Employee DiscountAll employees receive a 50% discount on any full meal per day. You can check McD Perks for more discounts on other places.
Professional DevelopmentThe company encourages professional development and provides the means to do so.
Job TrainingAll employees are given a one-day orientation and then 2 weeks of training for their roles. Each employee assigned a mentor that is tasked with making sure that the employee is getting used to the environment and work.
Tuition AssistanceThere is 20% tuition reimbursement for employees who have worked at the company for more than a year. However, it is limited to specific colleges.

What Employee Benefits Is McDonald’s Known for?


McDonalds’ employee benefits aren’t the best in the industry, but the benefits they do provide are extremely useful for people working in the service industry. The best-known benefits among McDonald’s employees are the job training they provide, employee discounts, and reduced or flexible hours. Employees can also get the following:

  • A medical plan with Vision and Dental coverage.
  • A 100% 401 (k) match up to 6% of your pay.
  • Up to 3 weeks of paid vacation.
  • 12 weeks of paid maternity and 2 weeks of paid paternity leave.
  • Life insurance is available.
  • Performance-based bonuses.

Besides these benefits, McDonald’s has a thorough job training process where they train employees on how to function on the job, as well as, how to be better in the service industry, in general. Even veterans of the service industry get job training so they can easily adhere to the work environment of McDonald’s. Furthermore, corporate employees receive bi-annual training sessions, seminars, and courses to help them develop and excel in their fields.

McDonalds’ employees get excellent discounts through which they can receive up to 70% on a full meal per day. Additionally, drinks are free throughout the day and employees receive one free meal per shift. Full-time employees receive unlimited free food from their branch.

To ensure its employees remain happy and committed, McDonald’s has a great reduced or flexible hours benefit where employees can choose the hours they work. There is a maximum of 40 hours of work per week because the company does not encourage employees to work overtime. Employees can either work the full 40 hours in any formation they want or work lesser hours (flexible).

There are also other smaller, yet, effective perks, like offering employees prizes if they can go 30 days without a customer complaint.

How does McDonald’s Help with Student Loans?

McDonald’s doesn’t have any student loan assistance programs, but they do provide tuition assistance. Employees can receive up to $2,500 per year and $3,000 for managers and above.

Tuition fees have skyrocketed over the years with private college fees increasing by 44%, and public college fees increasing by 55%.

The reason companies favor tuition reimbursement over student loan assistance is because it’s a better retention mechanism. Tuition reimbursement means that the company encourages employees to complete their education, while they help with the fees. Student loan assistance means that the company will provide ways to pay back past loans.

This is where platforms like FutureFuel will make all the difference. The platform is the future of student loan repayment programs. Employees can have their personalized FutureFuel accounts through which they can receive company contributions, manage, and pay back their student debt. Employers can also create their accounts to monitor the benefit.

How Do McDonalds’ Employee Benefits Change for Different Jobs?

McDonald’s has three main categories: corporate offices, company-owned outlets, and franchised outlets. Each of them has a similar general employee benefits structure, however, there are some differences.

For example, franchise owners usually have little perks and benefits, such as extending the free meals to family members of employees.

Company-owned outlets have a singular mandate that all outlets follow.

Additionally, the benefits for the restaurant workers and managers differ, as well. The managers receive better versions of the benefits, like increased vacation days, better health coverage, more discounts, etc.

How McDonald’s Improved its Benefits Packages Overtime?

McDonald’s used to be known as a minimum wage paying fast food restaurant, but then the company started making changes. McDonald’s began offering good wages to employees while providing benefits to everyone, whether hourly or part-time workers.

Furthermore, the company constantly tries to improve its benefits like tuition assistance. Last year, McDonald’s tripled the tuition assistance provided to employees.

In addition, McDonald’s restaurants all over the world provide unique benefits like Sabbatical programs, Dress for your Day, Summer hours, Recognition programs, etc. All of these benefits are aimed at retaining employees by improving their experience on the job.

Are McDonald’s Careers Worth It?

Getting a job at McDonald’s might start as a part-time gig, or a means to help with college, but it can turn into a career if one continues long enough. A career in the service industry tends to help with temperament and establishes a strong work ethic (especially if you wish to pursue a different career).

However, a long-term career in McDonald’s might not be worth it for you, for several reasons, such as:

  • Promotions and raises are limited – you can only grow so much in a restaurant outlet.
  • Your exposure will be limited to only the fast-food restaurant service industry.
  • Benefits are upgraded after long amounts of time (5 years for some).
  • You can’t work overtime because it is usually discouraged – you may only work a maximum of 40 hours per week.

While McDonald’s is a globally-known brand, working there may not have the best impact on your professional life. However, it can help you grow as a person.

Discover McDonald’s Jobs and Careers

If you’re considering building your career at McDonald’s, keep an eye out for job openings on the following platforms:

McDonald’s Careers

The company page lets you browse through the benefits provided at different outlets, and you can also check out employee testimonials. Aside from that, you can search for the job you want, either in a restaurant or on the corporate side. Once you’re on the main page, choose your location and it’ll take you through the process, as well as, provide all the necessary information. You can also specify whether you’re a job seeker, a finance professional, a marketing professional, etc. and the results will be shown accordingly. Restaurant jobs include Cashiers, Outlet Managers, Cooks, etc., and the corporate jobs range from Marketing Assistants to Regional Directors.

McDonald’s LinkedIn

The McDonald’s LinkedIn page doesn’t post openings for restaurants or franchises but does feature openings for corporate jobs. There are around 4,000 jobs posted on the page, including roles as Marketing Managers, Field Communications Supervisor, Global Associate Product Manager, Customer Experience Leader, etc.  However, most of the jobs are entry-level.

McDonald’s Indeed

Indeed has job postings for, both, corporate and restaurant jobs, resulting in almost 60,000 jobs posted on the page. These range from IT Technicians to Service and Kitchen Crew. You can also check out over 166,000 reviews by former and current employees. Furthermore, you can check the salaries for, both, corporate and restaurant positions. For example, a restaurant crew member earns $8.62 per hour, on average. On the other hand, the Director of Operations for a city can earn up to $103,000, on average.


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