Summer’s a busy time at McDonald’s—and the fast food chain is finding that teen workers aren’t as reliable as it would like in early morning shifts. So it’s focusing on the opposite end of the age spectrum for its seasonal hiring blitz.
McDonald’s and AARP are teaming up to help fill roughly 250,000 jobs this summer. The company will also work with AARP on a five-state pilot program to match low-income American seniors with jobs.
The jobs will range from cashier to shift manager, depending on the skills of the older workers. Many of the positions will be listed on the AARP’s Job Board.
“For the first time ever, five generations are now working together under the Arches,” said Melissa Kersey, McDonald’s U.S. Chief People Officer in a statement. “Together with our franchisees we have a responsibility to each generation to provide opportunity, flexibility and resources for wherever they are on their career journey.”
While McDonalds, which recently stopped lobbying against minimum wage hikes, has no plans to pull back on teen hiring, officials note that a 5am shift is difficult for them due to school or their own circadian rhythm. Older Americans are more accepting of the breakfast and lunch shifts. (And breakfast has become an increasingly important segment for McDonald’s.)
There’s certainly a sizable pool for the chain to draw from . People who are 55 and older will make up 24.8% of the workforce by 2026, projects the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Integrating these workers with their younger staff can often bring unexpected benefits including two-way mentoring which supports growth for all,” said Susan Weinstock, AARP Vice President for Financial Resilience.
Editor’s note: This story’s headline originally said McDonald’s would hire 250,000 senior citizens for summer jobs. The chain will be hiring seniors as part of a multigenerational push to fill the seasonal jobs.