COLORADO SPRINGS – A new report from Business Insider is reporting that fast food joints are now turning to the older generation for hires instead of younger people.
The article explains that two demographic shifts are behind this hiring strategy: there’s a nationwide labor shortage meaning there are more jobs available than workers to fill them and Americans are working longer. For some, it’s to help with income as Social Security benefits aren’t cutting it. Beyond that, some fast food businesses believe senior citizens are simply better workers.
News 5 found out it’s a trend happening in Colorado Springs.
“Hire those senior citizens…they know their stuff.”
That’s the advice Angela Hayes has for any fast food joints in need of solid workers.
“There’s nothing wrong with kids, but it just seems that nowadays…the whole millennial thing, there’s very few of them that have good work ethics.”
Hayes is a district manager of Pita Pit in Colorado Springs. About three or four times each year she’s in charge of hiring new employees.
“Honestly, I try not to really hire teenagers…you’ve always got to have an open mind because there are some good ones out there, but for the most part I try not to.”
Hayes is turning to senior citizens like June Cove Boyd.
“I love my little senior citizen, June, that works here. Customers love her…it’s just better to get older people with more experience. They’re on time. They’re friendlier…and they’re not on their cell phone all the time.”
In some cases, senior citizens can also be less expensive hires.
Hayes said, “Most of them just want a job. They don’t always want a lot of hours…they’re just trying to make some extra money so they have spending money or whatever.”
All of these traits are not only beneficial for fast food joints, but for employees like Cove Boyd. Being able to work has helped her through the loss of loved ones.
Cove Boyd said, “I immediately went back to work in the food industry and customer service…depression for older people sets in. That’s why more of people my age are going back to work.”
While she’s financially secure, she knows other people her age aren’t as fortunate.
“People my age that are my friends are working because they have to supplement their income and they’re also fearful of no Social Security being there.”
The Business Insider article also references information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics: the number of working Americans between ages 65 and 74 is expected to increase 4.5% between 2014 and 2024 while the number of those between 16 to 24 is expected to drop 1.4%.