Teens At Texas Chicken Chain Offered $50K Manager Roles Amid Labor Shortage

Something really funny has been happening this past year. As a result of the pandemic, there's been quite a labor shortage in fields that require minimal education, the Wall Street Journal reports.

These jobs, which were once considered "undesirable" because of their demanding nature and low pay, are starting to look better and better thanks to all the incentives employers are using to attract the workforce back.

It's been a tough year.

Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

Many restaurants have had to close down or cut staff, but as restrictions ease and things open back up, employers are finding it a lot harder to fill positions that they could once cover easily.

That's probably why this chicken chain is making such a bold move.

Layne's Chicken Fingers, a Texas-based fast food chain with six restaurants in the state, has made the decision to hire teenagers to take on management positions, Business Insider reports.

These roles would pay around $50K a year, which is a really great wage, especially for people coming right out of high school.

There could be a lot of other factors that play into this move.

Garrett, Reed, the CEO of Layne's, spoke with the Wall Street Journal, stating that the chain has been so short-staffed, they've taken to training teens and young adults to take on leadership roles.

A lot of potential workers have found jobs at larger chains, such as Walmart or McDonald's.

Plenty of restaurants have been feeling the effects of the labor shortage.

Business Insider writes that job openings in food and accommodation industries have risen by 349,000 in April, and there just aren't enough people to fill these positions.

Even as some restaurants raise wages to try to attract potential employees, it doesn't seem to be working much.

And there are so many other incentives too.

Smaller business in these industries are doing what they can to attract new applicants, the Wall Street Journal states. They're going to great lengths, from promising sign-on and retention bonuses, to handing out gift cards just to get people into the interview room.

It's almost like there's a collective sense of panic.

These restaurants and businesses are doing things that, according to the Wall Street Journal, are typically reserved for the white-collar workforce. This means that, for these blue-collar workers, they have more power than the employers themselves.

For Layne's, they're having an issue finding managers.

"I've got a good crop of 16- and 17-year-olds, but I need another year or two to get them seasoned to run stores," Reed told the Wall Street Journal.

The company had planned to open up more chains, with hopes of having upwards of 120 franchises by 2028. They've already had to delay signing leases for new restaurants in Dallas because of their difficulty finding managers.

This shortage is hitting smaller businesses especially hard.

"The biggest challenge for small companies to grow right now is your labor force," Reed said in his interview. "We'd be growing at twice the rate if we had more people." It's pretty tough out there for small businesses right now.

h/t: Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal.