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Report: Tampa McDonald's offered $50 for people to show up for interviews

The offer, according to Business Insider, didn't end up attracting many applicants.
Credit: AP
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

TAMPA, Fla. — As businesses and restaurants continue to reopen during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many are struggling to hire workers. 

One Tampa McDonald's appears to have attempted to solve that problem by offering people $50 to show up at an interview.

A tweet posted April 15 appears to show a McDonald's located on New Chestnut Street and Dale Mabry Hwy with a sign that reads "Get $50 for interview." 

A few days later, a reply to the Twitter thread shows the sign apparently changed to advertize $11.50 an hour. 

Business Insider reported it spoke with Blake Casper, head of the franchise that owns that McDonald's and about 60 others in the Tampa area. 

"At this point, if we can't keep our drive-thrus moving, then I'll pay $50 for an interview," Casper reportedly told the Business Insider.

The outlet said Casper told it, "to his surprise," the sign wasn't attracting applicants. Instead, he reportedly told the outlet he had more success with referral programs, text message applications and signing bonuses. 

Casper isn't alone in this struggle. Businesses across the country are having trouble filling the jobs, which in turn hurts their ability to keep up with the demand for their products or services. 

Owners say that some would-be workers are worried about catching COVID-19 or prefer to live off unemployment benefits that are significantly higher amid the pandemic. Child care is another issue — parents aren't able to work when they need to tend to or home-school their children. For some people, a combination of factors go into their decision not to seek work. 

Businesses of all sizes are struggling with hiring even with millions of Americans unemployed and as increasing numbers of people get vaccinated and look forward to a more normal life. A Census survey taken in late March shows that 6.3 million didn't seek work because they had to care for a child, and 4.1 million said they feared contracting or spreading the virus. 

The National Federation of Independent Business found in a March survey of its own members that 42% had job openings they couldn’t fill. Owners cited higher unemployment benefits as one factor. And a study released last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that a 10% increase in unemployment benefits during the pandemic led to a 3.6% drop in job applications. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.