How McDonald's Canada bucks the turnover trend

The fast-food industry has notoriously high turn-over rates but McDonalds Canada keeps theirs at a respectable rate. HRM found out how.

How McDonald's Canada bucks the turnover trend
Turnover rates within the fast food industry vary wildly with some studies suggesting the figure sits well over 100 per cent, so how can McDonalds – arguably the world’s most renowned fast-food restaurant – keep theirs at a respectable 45 per cent?

HRM caught up McDonalds Canada’s SVP and chief people person Sharon Ramalho to find out more.

“The average part-time employee, the crew person, they’re typically with us for a couple of years,” reveals Ramalho. 

According to the Toronto-based exec, McDonalds Canada has a turnover rate of 45 per cent among crew and 15 per cent among restaurant managers.

“We’re able to retain our employees and we’re able to retain our managers because they see the opportunities in front of them and they see the learning that they get,” she explains.


“For the young people working in the restaurants on a part-time basis they really have a great opportunity to learn skills for life, skills that you only get at McDonalds,” says Ramalho.

“From communication and team building to setting goals and being responsible – all of these skills help the youth as they progress in their life,” she adds.

Franchisees also have the ability to offer scholarships to employees.

“It’s done in different ways with the franchisees but it could be that at the end of an employee’s career with McDonalds they get a scholarship,” reveals Ramalho. “Franchisees also provide the training for the managers throughout their career and managers have to attend four different courses which solidify their skills.”


As well as developing crew members and giving them valuable life skills, McDonalds has a commitment to help them progress internally.

According to Ramalho, 90 per cent of restaurant managers started as crew members and 65 per cent of corporate senior leaders started their careers in McDonalds’ restaurants.

“I think that shows the commitment that McDonalds as a system has to learning and development and to developing from within and giving people opportunities,” she told HRM.

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