7-Eleven franchisees report chronic understaffing — despite wage hikes

Marianne Wilson
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Wage increases have not helped solve staffing shortages at 7-Eleven stores. 

Most U.S. 7-Eleven franchise owners have raised wages beyond their state or local minimum wage mandates but still face chronic understaffing, according to the results of a new National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) survey. The survey, conducted in June, found that that 92% of respondents had increased their hourly pay rate during the last year, and 89% raised wages beyond their state or local minimum wage mandates. 

Despite the pay increases, 97% of respondents said they have had trouble staffing their store during the last year, and 96% said it has become more difficult just during the past 60 to 90 days. Ninety percent of respondents said they have lowered their standards for new hires because of the state of the labor market.

In other findings, 96% said they (or their designee) had worked more shifts than they typically work during the last 60 to 90 days.  Nearly 50% reported they (or a designee) had worked at least 10 overnight shifts during the last 60 days because they didn’t have enough staff.

“This survey proves what our franchisee members have been telling us for a long time,” said Jay Singh, chairman of NCASEF, an elected, independent body representing the interests of more than 7,400 7-Eleven franchised locations in the U.S. “They can’t find enough people to work and they are working too many hours themselves. “What is most telling is that only 13% of franchisees who responded said overnight operations were financially profitable to them as franchise owners.

Franchisees who said overnight operations were unprofitable were asked how these four factors impacted profitability:
•    Increased labor cost (27.25%);
•    Lack of an available, qualified and reliable workforce (11.05%);
•    Lack of customer traffic during overnight hours (10.54%);
•    Declining customer count due to newer competitive stores near your store(s) (0.26%); an
•    Fifty percent cited “All of the above.”