Here's How Much Popeyes Employees Really Make

There's a reason fast food jobs have a bad reputation. Forget the long hours, the rigid rules, and the sometimes unsafe conditions — jobs that put you on the frontlines of the worst aspects of humanity also pay little more than a federal minimum wage that hasn't changed in over 10 years (via Vox, Glassdoor, and US Department of Labor).

But take that and add it to a viral marketing campaign that had people lining up around the block for days, and you've got the story of Popeyes (via Vox). How much would someone have to pay you per hour to have a gun pulled on you for a chicken sandwich (via Star Telegram)? How about being injured on the job by a brawling customer like MTO News reported? Or what about working while someone is stabbed outside of your store (via CNN)? Employees at Popeyes didn't have it great to begin with — sure, their low pay isn't unique — but with the growing popularity of viral marketing and corporate rivalries, Popeyes' pay is a good example of the limited choices fast food workers have when they accept a job taking orders and frying chicken.

Popeyes employees struggle to make ends meet

According to Glassdoor, Indeed, and Payscale, Popeyes cashiers and cooks make anywhere from $9 an hour to $9.51, with small pay increases as shift leaders or managers. That's less than $2 more than the federal minimum wage, and for one worker would mean less than $20,000 a year. According to Business Insider, the "median necessary living wage" across the US is $67,690. Not looking great for Popeyes employees — especially those who support others financially in a household.

Take Marion, a Popeyes employee who spoke to the Guardian in 2017. She said she had always worked two jobs to make ends meet and to take care of her two children. "My family is not benefiting," she said. "I'm working so hard to come home, and still I have to decide whether I am going to put food on the table or am I going to pay the light bill, or pay rent." Reviews on Glassdoor from Popeyes employees aren't all bad, but many say things like, "terrible pay cmon popeyes step it up" and "A lot of work for a little amount on my paycheck." Here's hoping things change when it comes to treatment of and pay for employees in this sector.