Restaurants are posting hiring ads for young teens to make up for staffing shortages

With the pandemic-driven staffing shortage continuing unabated, restaurants are resorting to unorthodox tactics to fill shifts, from offering $1,000 signing bonuses in bitcoin to poaching rival restaurants’ workers. And in the depths of desperation, some fast-food chains are practically begging young teens to come work at their stores. USA Today reports that a McDonald’s location in Medford, Oregon, recently posted a large banner outside the store advertising, “Now Hiring 14 & 15 Year Olds.” Earlier this year, a similar sign displayed in an Ohio Burger King drive-thru window nudged parents to get their 14- and 15-year-olds to apply for work. The gigs are indeed legit: Flipping burgers and hosting restaurants have long been standby summer gigs for 16-year-olds and above, but 14 is generally the minimum age permitted by the U.S. Department of Labor for nonagricultural jobs. These young workers “have been a blessing in disguise,” the Oregon McDonald’s restaurant operator said. How long until homework and band practice take priority is to be determined. 

The Counter Stories by our editors.