This New KFC Benefit Helps Employees Stretch Their Fast-Food Paychecks

Show of hands — how many of you have worked in the fast food industry? I’m sure many of you raised your hand (in your mind, at least). As first jobs go, the pay might be pretty good, but you can still blow through your entire paycheck before the weekend’s out.

With more than 3.7 million fast-food workers in the U.S., and entry-level employees earning roughly $8.25 an hour, personal finance skills can help make ends meet.

This week, the KFC Foundation announced how it’s taking an active role in solving this problem for KFC employees. The organization has rolled out MyChange, a smartphone app and desktop program focused on educating and empowering employees about key elements of their personal finance, and helping them make smarter decisions.

The app — powered by Sum180 — is intended to be simple to use and completely confidential. Some features include:

  • Budgeting tools and weekly budgeting tips
  • Personalized budgeting plans
  • Private access to financial advisers providing financial coaching
  • An online community offering encouragement to stay focused on your financial goals

Krista Snider, managing director of the KFC Foundation, said what separates MyChange from other personal finance apps is that it  gives employees easily digestible information to better understand their situation.

“Other apps are about managing your money for you but don’t give you the context on how you’re going to meet your goals,” she says. “This app gives you a roadmap on where you need to go.”

Why a personal finance app? Why now? A survey of some 100,000 KFC team members nationwide showed that financial counseling ranked second to college scholarships as an employee need.

The KFC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded by KFC franchisees, runs several employee development programs, including college education grants, family crisis assistance and GED programs. The foundation receives a majority of its financial support from the Cole Slaw Donation Program, where KFC franchisees voluntarily elect to have a portion of coleslaw sales in their restaurants go towards the foundation.

Other fast-food chains have made waves recently by offering benefits that foster personal or professional growth. For instance, in March McDonald’s announced that it’s expanding its  tuition assistance program, making it easier to access funds to pay for college.

Now we’ll wait and see if other fast food companies follow suit by offering personal finance education as part of their benefits packages.

Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.