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If you’ve ever wondered “How much does Chick-fil-A pay?” you might be surprised at the answer one location in North Carolina gives. The restaurant in Hendersonville, North Carolina, experimented with paying temporary drive-thru workers in … chicken.
The Chick-fil-A in Hendersonville, North Carolina, reached out to the community via Facebook to find “volunteers” to work their new Drive Thru Express, but they said they’d pay in entrees — not money.
Would you work for chicken? Probably not, and now Chick-fil-A is getting major backlash on the Internet from people questioning the ethical and legal practices of the owner.
We break down the Chick-fil-A drama for you:
How much does Chick-fil-A pay?
Chick-fil-A pays between $8 and $14 per hour for entry-level jobs like cashier, fast-food worker, kitchen worker, or cook. If you are a team leader, the range is $9 – $15 per hour. A kitchen manager or restaurant manager gets $11 – $19 per hour.
On top of that, Chick-fil-A offers employees a discount on food as a perk. The amount varies by location (they’re individually owned), but it’s not uncommon to see 50% off for employees when they’re off-shift and up to $10 off food during their shifts.
But one Chick-fil-A has tried to go a different route: Pay by food.
Chick-fil-A offered to pay Drive-Thru ‘volunteers’ five entrees per hour.
On July 27, 2022, the Hendersonville Chick-fil-A offered “volunteer” workers five entrees per shift.
It’s unclear if they give volunteers food vouchers or five meals to take home after their shift — but regardless, that’s a lot of chicken.
According to the now-deleted Facebook ad, each volunteer’s shift would be an hour. On average, base-level Chick-fil-A employees get paid around $10 per hour for working shifts. Entrees are around $6 each, so you’d ultimately get $30 in food. (Although typically, employees get around 50% off food purchases, so it’s really like $15 worth. And without those pesky payroll taxes the restaurant would normally have to pay.)
This isn’t the first time this Chick-fil-A paid volunteers with food.
In a reply to a Facebook user, the Hendersonville Chick-fil-A claimed that this isn’t the first time they’ve used volunteers, and people have signed up.
“This is a volunteer-based opportunity, which means people can opt in to volunteer if they think it’s a good fit for them,” the store wrote. “We’ve had multiple people sign up and enjoy doing it and have done it multiple times. People who sign up for this chose it voluntarily.”
During all the uproar, Chick-fil-A deleted their original Facebook post and limited comments on their page. But people are still trolling their comments on other posts.
One Facebook user commented on an appreciation post for Chick-fil-A’s team members, “How many chicken nuggets do you offer per hour? I am hungry and looking for work.” In another team appreciation post, a user said, “Do you pay them with money or chicken???”
So, you can’t pay people in chicken, according to the law.
The Hendersonville restaurant has been accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, which states you can’t pay workers with anything but money.
This federal labor law has been on the books since 1938.
Another Chick-fil-A got backlash for paying high school students less than other employees.
Another Chick-fil-A restaurant in North Carolina — this time in Gastonia — is getting flack for paying high school students less than other workers.
An ad that Chick-fil-A put on Facebook said high school students who work part time will get $11 per hour, and students who work full-time hours will get $13 per hour. However, everyone else will get $13 per hour part time and $15 per hour full time.
Some people spoke against the $2 pay decrease for students, noting that they’d be expected to do the same work as non-students.
You must be 16 years old to get hired at Chick-fil-A.
If you want to work at your local Chick-fil-A, you must be 16 and over. To work the lobby, register, or drive-thru, the minimum age is 16.
However, to work in the kitchen, you have to be at least 18 years old.
There are better ways to get free Chick-fil-A chicken.
Of course, most Chick-fil-A jobs don’t have these kinds of problems. But hey, it’s hard to turn down free chicken. We get it.
But you don’t have to “volunteer” in order to get Chick-fil-A free chicken. We’ve written the best tips on how to save money at Chick-fil-A and how to get free chicken and other menu items.
One of our favorites? Every time you get a receipt, fill out the survey and you get a free Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. No drive-thru experience required.