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MOOYAH hamburger franchise CEO Tony Darden was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article that discusses declining youth employment rates across a variety of industries. Once a popular source of employment for teens and young college-age adults, over the past decade the Fast Casual industry has experienced a dramatic decrease in the number of job applications being completed and turned in by youth seeking employment. Darden spoke to this trend, saying, “We’re no longer in a situation where we can sit back and wait on applications coming in from people who want to work for us. It’s a war for talent.” 

The article speculates that high school and college students who once worked at hamburger franchises like MOOYAH and other Fast Casual or quick-service restaurant concepts, may now be opting for positions within their chosen field. Positions such as internships or attending summer classes at the local university that offer to help fast-track their entry into the professional world. Additionally, fewer people ages 18-24 may be applying to jobs at a hamburger franchise or elsewhere in the Fast Casual job market because they are involved in extracurricular activities like sports, and have no time between schoolwork and competitive athletics to devote to an after-school or summer job. Whatever the case, MOOYAH and other hamburger franchise restaurants like Five Guys, Smashburger, and McDonald’s have been hiring older workers, including retirees, to fill the gap left by teens who no longer seek employment there.

As a burger franchise with a strong focus on community, MOOYAH is always proud and pleased to hire young, high-school and college-age employees to help us create a Better Burger experience right in their hometown. We like to think working at MOOYAH is a pretty great first job for any young person—between our 100% Certified Angus Beef® burgers, hand-cut fries & shakes made out of REAL ice cream, we can guarantee there’s no better place to work if you’re as passionate about quality food as we are. We’re also pretty serious about the element of FUN, which we try to infuse into each customer interaction with our laid-back, come-as-you-are environment. We love bringing first-time workers into the MOOYAH family for a part-time after-school job on nights and weekends, or as a great way to earn extra cash over summer vacation. However, according to the Wall Street Journal article, as well as several additional sources, including the New York Times and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of young people seeking employment at a hamburger franchise like MOOYAH, or anywhere else, for that matter, is on the decline.

youth unemployment graph
youth unemployment infographic

“We’re no longer in a situation where we can sit back and wait on applications coming in from people who want to work for us. It’s a war for talent.” 

Tony Darden


hamburger franchise


While we’d love to hire more young people to bring even more energy and enthusiasm to the MOOYAH family, we’re nothing but supportive of the teens in our community as they strive to become their best selves at school, on the playing field or in corporate America. It’s our pleasure to see the youngsters who once came into our hamburger franchise restaurants to celebrate a Little League victory return with their high school varsity team! So, even though we’re always glad to bring teens and young college students on board to work for us, we’re happy they’re following their dreams, setting big goals and still bringing their growing appetites into our MOOYAH restaurants!

Tony Darden was right when he said that our application process is a war for talent, and if our current family of Franchise Owners and Team Members is any indication, MOOYAH is winning! We want to be the best hamburger franchise not just for our Guests, but for the folks who work with us as well! That’s why Tony’s rolled out his plan for ‘100 MOOYAH Millionaires’—a corporate initiative to help support our Franchise Owners so they can reach $1 million in sales. We know that we all work best together when we share a common goal and have the motivation to be the BEST, every single day. Additionally, we encourage our Franchise Owners to give exceptional Team Members special recognition, like our Baton Rouge, LA location did for Trina Lookadoo in the video below. It’s the little things that make a good hamburger franchise great, and MOOYAH is devoted to showing our staff and Guests that they are a valuable part of our family.

Since we are serious about creating the best team in each MOOYAH burger franchise location, we’re committed to selecting Franchise Owners who share our ideals and can help us serve high-quality food and a terrific customer experience with each mouth-watering burger, fry & shake we make. If you think you’re a good fit for the MOOYAH family (and wouldn’t mind making MOOLAH doing what you love!), drop us a line in the form below, or take a tour of our burger franchise website to learn more about the opportunity.

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