New Program Allows Next Day Pay for Fast Food Employees

Inside Subprime: August 13, 2019

By Lindsay Frankel

A new advance pay program allows employees to access their earned wages ahead of payday, a benefit that may help low-wage workers achieve greater financial stability and borrowing from payday loans and title loans.

Workers at participating fast food restaurants owned by GPS Hospitality, such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Popeye’s, will be eligible to receive 50 percent of their income the following day, with the remainder being paid out during regular bi-weekly pay periods. The program is called “Work Today, Pay Tomorrow.”

“Everybody runs into issues with money at one time or another, and I’ve seen people go to the [payday loans] places and pay a hefty percentage fee for a short loan. There’s no fees involved in this whatsoever,” said Laurie Covieo, Senior General Manager of Burger King in Fenton, Michigan.

The lack of fees makes this program a much safer way to access quick cash than alternative methods of borrowing, such as payday loans. A payday loan is a short-term loan intended to be paid back out of the borrower’s next paycheck. But these loans carry average APRs of nearly 400 percent, making it difficult for borrowers to pay them back on time. This leads to re-borrowing and mounting interest and fees. With the “Work Today, Pay Tomorrow” program, employees can avoid exorbitant interest rates and get the cash they need when they need it.

If an employee works eight hours in one day, they’ll be eligible to be paid for four hours the following day, either on a pay card or through an app. While the program is no substitute for higher wages, it could help protect workers from going into debt due to erratic schedules or unexpected expenses.

“If you work eight hours, a four-hour pay isn’t going to solve your problems the next day, but if you’re short gas money, that can be a big help or short some groceries for your family and trying to make it to payday, that can be a big help,” Covieo said.

Julie Linton, a district leader for GPS Hospitality, said the program will also help recruit and retain employees in a competitive labor market. “As there’s lesser and lesser employees and everybody is hiring, it’s just another avenue for us to try to attract people,” she said.

GPS Hospitality plans to establish the program at all franchise locations by August.

Learn more about payday loans, scams, and cash advances by checking out our city and state financial guides, including Illinois, Chicago, Ohio, Texas, and more.