Taco Bell testing $100,000 manager salary, paid sick leave for workers

5 Things You May Not Know About Taco Bell When it first launched as Taco Tia, it offered hamburgers, hot dogs and milkshakes in addition to tacos. After becoming Taco Bell in 1962, fire pits and mariachi bands became a staple of the first location. It was the first fast-food company to hire women as managers. The Taco Bell Chihuahua, Gidget, starred in "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde." The dog died in 2009. Taco Bell once bought the Liberty Bell -- but announced the ad had been an April Fool's jo

A newly unveiled plan in the fast food industry may make you exclaim “Yo quiero Taco Bell!”

The Irvine, Calif.-based chain on Tuesday announced plans for some employee perks that it says will  help it “continue to invest in its people, building leaders at all levels.”

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One is a test of a $100,000 annual salary offered to managers of select locations of company-owned establishments. The other is paid sick leave offered to employees.

While the yearly pay is reserved for restaurant general managers, there are also options for employees who don’t desire to become bosses. A program called Makers is being introduced for restaurant team members looking to increase their passion for Taco Bell and seeking to obtain leadership experience.

And some benefits have already been extended to restaurant workers. Beginning on Jan. 1, company employees nationwide became eligible to receive at least 24 hours of paid sick time per calendar year.

“Through these initiatives, Taco Bell aims to enhance restaurant performance, employee satisfaction and support recruitment and retention,” the press release stated.

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Taco Bell's senior director of global training and international HR Ferril Onyett told MarketWatch it's not yet known how many managers at the 450 company-owned stores will get the $100,000 salaries. Also unknown is the duration of the test run for higher salaries. A spokeswoman told the website managers currently make from $50,000 to $80,000 annually.

The boosted salary is not typical of the restaurant industry. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2018 show general and operations managers in the business had a median salary of $54,240. The data did not discern between managers of fast food and sit-down eateries. Meanwhile, fast food workers behind the grills and fryers had a median yearly income of $21,750.