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11 Highest Paying Fast Food Jobs in 2017

If you’re in need of a job that pays well, with little experience, take a look at this list of the highest paying fast food jobs in 2017.

Have you ever wondered what are the highest paying restaurant chains, or which are the lowest paying ones? Many fast food restaurants are ready to modernize their mascots or public image, although when it comes to improving low-paying jobs, they are unhappily behind the times. The main reason is how the public regards the product versus the people producing it. When we talk about the product, the answer is clear and straightforward; Americans enjoy fast food. However, when it comes to the employee, that goodwill flips faster than a greasy burger. The general public opinion is that fast-food workers are lazy, uneducated, and unmotivated to improve their life, which is just not true for the majority of workers at fast food restaurants.

The most common types of jobs among the unemployed population is working at a fast food restaurant, particularly in the States. Whether we talk about unemployed adults, a high school or college student looking for the summer seasonal job, or someone who needs some cash or immediate income, fast food jobs are the easiest to find plus they usually do not require prior experience. Fast food restaurants used to be notorious for lousy wages and lack of benefits. However, in recent years, they have improved slightly. Now, they are offering better salaries and benefits like health insurance, sick pay, or retirement options. These days it is not difficult to find the highest paying fast food jobs in 2017. 

11 Highest Paying Fast Food Jobs in 2017



There are different kinds of jobs in the fast food restaurants. Did you ever wonder about what is the easiest fast food job? In reality, none of it is really easy. It is usually hard work with little pay. As far as what is best between cooking or working as a cashier, most fast food places will not allow an employee to choose. They will train him or her for whatever job is available at the moment, first, and after a while, someone might get to learn other jobs. If someone is a talkative person, being a cashier would be a good option. If people just are not someone’s thing, then perhaps he or she should look into being a cook. However, being a grill cook is not as easy as it sounds. The food itself is easy to cook, but it is hard to keep up with lots of orders at once. That difficulty depends on the menu and whether it is prepared fresh or ahead of time. If possible, our advice is to get a job at the fast food place willing to work the schedule around the employee.

Besides low wages, the fast food business is famous for lack of promotion, long hours, stingy benefits, or even discrimination. Food Chain Workers Alliance did a report in which they found that 86.5% of employees along the whole chain of food production and commerce did not earn a livable wage. On the other hand, 79% do not get sick time, while 58% do not have health insurance.

Some years ago, fast food work was synonymous for maximum stress and a minimum wage style of life. However, that does not necessarily mean there are no exceptional companies out there attempting to flip our preconceived perceptions about burger flipping on their head. If someone is committed, possesses necessary skills, and has the appropriate kind of work attitude, he can find an adequate job and one who gives a nice salary and quality working conditions. It is important to note that relevance of pay varies depending on location and cost of living. As you can imagine, the highest paying fast food jobs in California would reflect the high cost of living in the state. 

According to employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor and various surveys, several fast food chains are prominently better to work for than the others. You can find out more about it with our list of 13 Best Fast Food Chains To Work For in 2017.

For this list, we relied on Indeed, Glassdoor, and a Google Search to determine wages for the most popular fast food restaurants. We then ranked each position by hourly wage to find which fast food restaurant pays the most money. The lower the wage, the higher the job is on this list. You may notice that there are different kinds of jobs, but they are all part of the fast food business. However, we did not incorporate highest paying fast food manager jobs, as we wanted to focus on starting positions and base salaries. Speaking strictly, money-wise, all the places on this list are the best fast food places to work 2017. 

Roll your sleeves up and get ready for our list of highest paying fast food jobs in 2017.

11. KFC Team Member

$8.47 per hour

Though we’re not entirely sure about the quality of the food here, the quality of pay is not too bad for a fast food restaurant at the famous chicken joint. A team member at KFC is the lowest paid person on this list, but it’s not a bad start for a young person, or someone with little experience. 

11 Highest Paying Fast Food Jobs in 2017

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10. Panera Bread Cashier

$9.03 per hour

We sometimes forget that Panera is fast food because it has a nicer, cafe-style atmosphere compared to most places, but it’s still fast food. Panera is offering some cashier jobs for $9.03 per hour. It will make you a few dollars more a day than McDonald’s.

9. Chick-fil-A Team Member

$9.10 per hour

Offering $9.10 per hour, Chick-fil-A is pretty much in the same league as Panera. This popular, southern chicken spot is famous for their impeccable service and healthier choices when it comes to fast food. They are always closed on Sundays, so you will at least get one day of your weekend if you work there. 

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8. Dunkin’ Donuts Crew Member

$9.15 per hour

As the saying goes, America runs on Dunkin and there are plenty of locations, which means lots of places for hiring. A few pence more makes the hourly wage at Dunkin’ Donuts around $9.15 for a crew member.

11 Highest Paying Fast Food Jobs in 2017

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7. Noodles & Company Team Member

$9.22 per hour

Though this is on the higher end of fast food choices, it still grabs a spot on our list of highest paying fast food jobs in 2017. A team member at the restaurant gets a pretty decent wage starting out. We can notice that their standard is improving.

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6. Jamba Juice Cashier

$9.36 per hour

Jamba Juice is the place is not always as crowded as somewhere like McDonald’s, which might also take a little bit of the stress out of the job. An hour’s work will reward the employee with around $9.36.

11 Highest Paying Fast Food Jobs in 2017

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5. Five Guys Cashier

$9.36 per hour

Whether you want to flip burgers or man the cash register, you can expect about $9.36 per hour from the popular burger joint, which is why cashier at Five Guys takes the 5th place on our list of the highest paying fast food jobs in 2017. This restaurant is also famous for the free food it offers to employees and chefs, so at least you can eat while at work.

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4. Starbucks Barista

$9.57 per hour

This trendy company is pretty high on this list since the barista who mixes America’s favorite coffee drinks in here earns, on average, $9.57 per hour. Starbucks, as a company, also offers fantastic benefit packages for both part-time and full-time employees covering everything from health and medical to a 401k. 

3. Chipotle Cashier

$9.62 per hour

Chipotle may still be recovering from past outbreaks of viruses leading to a decline in business, but they still pay their employees pretty well compared to other fast food places. A cashier can earn a little under $10 an hour, makin it one of the highest paying fast food jobs in 2017.

11 Highest Paying Fast Food Jobs in 2017

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2. Panda Express Service Crew

$9.90 per hour

Working in Panda Express could be a passion for someone, or it can be a way to earn money and a little experience. At almost $10 an hour, Panda Express pays way better than most places in the fast food industry. 

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1. In-N-Out Cashier

$11.60 per hour

This is arguably the best fast food burger on the west coast, but there’s no doubt that it tops the list of highest paying fast food jobs in 2017 and has been doing so for some years now. The next step up from cashier is an associate, where someone can make around $12.46 per hour. 

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