|Tired with the effort of a perpetual recruitment drive, fastfood operators have cottoned on to new ways of attracting loyal employees, working harder than ever to offer incentives, benefits and structured career ladders. Managers has also been offered bonuses if they manage to retain employees, in a bid to counter the endemic attitude of staff that perceives the fastfood job as a dead-end stop-gap until their real careers can take off.  

At Tricon Global Restaurants Inc, the US operator of multinational fastfood chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, some employees are being offered stock options. Quoted in the Wall Street Journal Europe, COO of Tricon Aylwin Lewis said: "Not a lot of people wake up and say they want to go into this industry. We want to show people this is a destination."
 
At the Burger King unit of UK-based Diageo meanwhile, workers in the 500 corporate-owned outlets are being offered retirement schemes. Company spokesman Rob Sayre added that the 8,000 franchised Burger King restaurants plan to launch similar schemes soon.

McDonald's Corp is also offering benefits in the shape of retirement plans and health, home and car insurance. Restaurant level employees are also being offered credit-union memberships. 

Stemming the outward tide of employees through the revolving doors, fastfood businesses can reduce the costs involved in training and offer better services. Peter Oakes, restaurant analyst at Merrill Lynch, explained to the Journal: "When companies are able to get their hands around labour, that in turn improves earnings visibility, which is what Wall Street is looking for."

With such energy being devoted to retaining employees, the chains are starting to see improvement. Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have reduced staff turnover from 147% (1997) to about 120% (2000) and 243% (1997) to 200% (2000) respectively. At Burger King, turnover rate has fallen to 210% (2000) from 223% (1999).