A recent report explained that many fast food and casual dining chains are looking to replace the ubiquitous teenage worker with senior citizens instead. This is hardly surprising for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the push for a $15/per hour minimum wage. Teenagers have very little experience to warrant such a rate, though many of these restaurants are seeking to replace teenagers even before a hike in minimum wage is certain, and are doing so for other reasons.
According to the report, things like a “friendly demeanor, punctuality,” “more developed social skills,” and a lack of desire to move up the ladder are all significant factors in the desire to hire more seniors than teens. For restaurants, reliability and punctuality are very key factors that are necessary in good employees, and these skills also tend to be less prevalent in teens than in seniors.
In a survey conducted by Frisch’s Restaurants Inc., close to 31% “of millennials said that the reason they use the drive-thru isn’t speed or convenience, but because doing so requires the least amount of actual human interaction.” This doesn’t just apply to customers, but to employees as well. For restaurants that want to continue using actual people to service customers, senior citizens may be a much better fit, as they typically do not shun human interaction as much as millennials seem to.
With more and more senior citizens either finding themselves bored in their retirement and wanting more social interaction, or needing to supplement their income, this trend is promising from their perspective. Teens should take the information from this report to heart as they look for jobs, and work to enhance the skills that they may lack, in order to increase their chances of landing the job that they want.