Working fast food is not the best job in the world. Adult Swim can jam your store full of nerds looking for sauce, and people can be horrendous to you. And one would assume that this extends to the managers of the West Coast’s storied In-N-Out burger joints. But the company has just revealed what the managers make, and it’s more than most people with a desk job.
To be fair, as detailed in the California Sun, the buck stops with the manager. Everything, from the quality of the food to the cleanliness of the floors, ends with them. And the chain is famous for paying employees $13 an hour, well above California’s $10.50 minimum. Still, if you work your way up to the manager position, a job that doesn’t require a college degree, expect to be taking home more than architects, lawyers, and pretty much everybody else:
According to the latest numbers from the Irvine hamburger chain, the average yearly pay of its restaurant managers is now more than $160,000. That’s roughly triple the industry average. “In-N-Out is just eons above everybody else,” said Saru Jayaraman, who leads the Food Labor Research Center at U.C. Berkeley. “On wages and benefits, they really are the best large chain.”
Yes, you read that correctly. $160,000 a year, on average, goes into the pocket of whoever runs the In-N-Out. According to Glassdoor, your average McDonald’s manager makes less than a third of that. Also, In-N-Out provides generous benefits to employees. They do this because they don’t have to care about Wall Street; the company is privately owned by the family of Harry and Esther Snyder, and run by their granddaughter Lyndsi Torres. Torres, by the way, is America’s youngest female billionaire.
It’s particularly interesting because the fight for better wages in the fast food industry is heating up, and you have former Hardee’s CEO (and former Trump administration nominee for Secretary of Labor) Andrew Puzder insisting that if wages go up, fast food joints will resort to robots. This argument is not going away, and you can expect In-N-Out to keep coming up as we keep debating just what an hour of labor is truly worth.