7-Eleven franchisees say a 'dire' labor shortage is threatening their ability to keep stores open overnight
- Owners say reopening many
7-Elevenlocations 24-hours isn't feasible with the current worker shortage.
- The service industry is struggling with a shortage of critical labor.
- The chain has instructed owners to return to 24/7 service in May after more than a year of nightly closures.
A major group of 7-Eleven franchisees says a national
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The service industry is facing historic difficulty staffing stores. Nearly half of all US restaurants say they are "severely understaffed," and even getting applicants in the door has been a struggle in some cases. Some chains are turning to large-scale hiring events to screen swaths of candidates at once, with perks like cash just for showing up and drive-thru interviews at some stores.Read more: Restaurant workers should keep collecting unemployment instead of going back to work for poverty wages
Now, with a return to pre-pandemic hours planned for May, the franchisees say finding staff for overnight shifts is "extremely challenging," and overnight sales do not necessarily cover the costs of labor. If franchisees are unable to find staff for these shifts, they have to cover them themselves, which can be stressful and even bad for their health, they say in the letter."We are already feeling the squeeze," NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman Michael Jorgensen wrote. "The 7-Eleven Franchise Agreement allows the corporation to keep more than 50 percent of the gross profits of each sale. As labor and other direct store operating expenses keep increasing, franchisees are earning less and working more. One possible remedy for franchisees is to raise
"7-Eleven wants to be a place that customers think of for fresh food, but our Franchise Agreement is based on a convenience store model, not a quick-service restaurant model. The structure of the agreement is flawed. We need a contract that makes this model workable and profitable for franchisees," Los Angeles-area franchise owner Jas Dhillon said.
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