Some fast food workers will now have access to personal finance benefits as part of a strategy to standardize the perks employees receive.
About 100,000 KFC employees will have access to personal finance coaching through a new perk offered by the KFC Foundation, a charitable arm of the fast food chain, whether they work for a franchise or corporate-owned location.
Currently, benefits vary based on franchise; however, most employees told KFC that they need help managing their finances.
“One of the things we’re trying to tackle is taking a topic that can be very intimidating for pretty much everybody, regardless of your age, education or background,” says Krista Snider, managing director of the KFC Foundation. “Talking about your own personal finance situation is something people are hesitant to do.”
The program, MyChange, stemmed from the foundation’s hardship and crisis assistance program, which launched in 2015. Administrators there saw that many employees were in tough financial situations.
“We started seeing a lot of applications from employees that were not triggered by an outside event or something externally outside of their control,” Snider says. “We were getting applications from employees in really tough situations because they made uninformed financial decisions over the course of months or years that got them into this spot.”
For example, KFC employees took on car loans with 20% to 25% interest rates or signed leases for apartments that they couldn’t sustain in the long term, Snider says.
The company rolled out the personal finance program, which works in partnership with Sum180, to KFC’s restaurant employees in March.
However, the program was piloted in the last six months of 2017 with two different organizations to determine the best fit.
“What we liked with Sum180 is it’s very practical,” Snider says. “It’s very simple, and people can get benefits from it right away.”
Employees can download a mobile app — Snider says the vast majority of workers own a smartphone — or access the program via desktop.
The app provides employees with “short, sweet and to the point” weekly video tips to help them manage their personal finances, Snider says. There’s also a budgeting section and a place to track personal financial goals.
The budgeting tool is dynamic — employees can input amounts for income and household size; those numbers are then matched to national data, resulting ina budget they can work from.
Workers also have access to certified financial advisers who will get on the phone with an employee and discusspersonal finance best practices, Snider says.
MyChange joins four other KFC foundation offerings, such as a GED program, hardship and crisis assistance, and college tuition assistance at $2,000, $2,500 and $3,000 award levels.
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