How McDonald's Canada bucks the turnover trend

by Nicola Middlemiss17 Nov 2015
Turnover rates within the fast food industry vary wildly with some studies suggesting the figure sits well over 100%, so how can McDonald's – arguably the world’s most renowned fast-food restaurant – keep theirs at a respectable 45%?

HC caught up with McDonald's 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, McDonald's Canada has a turnover rate of 45% among crew and 15% 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 McDonald's,” 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 McDonald's 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, McDonald's has a commitment to help them progress internally.

According to Ramalho, 90% of restaurant managers started as crew members and 65% of corporate senior leaders started their careers in McDonald's restaurants.

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


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