How the EB-3 Visa Program can help McDonald’s Franchisees solve their long-term, chronic Crew Member labor shortages

How McDonald’s franchisees are solving their long-term, chronic Crew Member worker shortages

Many McDonald’s owner/operators across the United States are struggling with a staffing crisis that makes it challenging to fully operate their restaurants.

As a supplier partner with the National Owner’s Association, we see firsthand how McDonald’s Franchisees are having difficulty hiring enough Crew Members.

Without sufficient Crew Member staff, McDonald’s multi unit franchisees have been forced to reduce operating hours, turn away sales, or rely on temporary contract workers.

The EB-3 visa employment-based immigrant visa program offers a solution for McDonald’s franchisees seeking to fill open Crew Member positions when they are unable to find enough U.S. workers.

The EB-3 visa provides a path to permanent US residency for foreign nationals working in “other” unskilled labor jobs that require less than 2 years of training or experience.

By leveraging the EB-3 visa program, McDonald’s owners are able to hire pre-vetted, qualified workers from abroad to work as Crew Members in their understaffed restaurants for years to come.

This provides owner/operators with operational consistency, allowing them to return to normal operating hours, and ultimately drive more sales and profits for the franchise.

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McDonald’s Franchisees and Crew Member Staffing Shortages

The fast food industry has been hit especially hard by labor shortages ever since the COVID-19 pandemic first led to shutdowns and mass furloughs.

Now, with the economy recovered, restaurants are struggling to re-staff—especially for critical frontline Crew Member roles.

McDonald’s franchisees in particular have been impacted more severely than other quick-serve chains.

Many Crew Members have left for higher-paying jobs in other industries.

These persistent Crew Member labor shortages have had a tangible impact on McDonald’s franchisees and their restaurants.

Most franchises are operating with only 70-80% (or less) of the staff they need, leading many owners to reduce operating hours. This directly translates to lost sales and profits.

Franchisees are also struggling to keep up with demand during peak hours, as evidenced by slow drive-thru times and reduced speed-of-service for dine-in customers. Addressing the staffing crisis is imperative for McDonald’s owners.

Overview of the EB-3 Visa Program

The EB-3 visa program is a three-step process:

Step 1: PERM Labor Certification

The employer must receive certification from the Department of Labor.

This requires posting the job and showing that the company was unsuccessful in recruiting any US citizens or lawful permanent residents who met the minimum qualifications.

Step 2: I-140 Petition

After receiving PERM certification, the employer submits an I-140 petition to USCIS providing information that proves the prospective immigrant meets EB-3 eligibility criteria.

Step 3: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

Once the I-140 is approved, the final step is for the foreign worker to either adjust their status within the U.S. or undergo consular processing abroad. Both result in the applicant worker being granted permanent residency.

Once the applicant worker receives permanent residency they will be able to start work for you.

The EB-3 program allows Burger King franchisees to legally sponsor foreign nationals for openings they struggle to fill with US-based workers.

Steps for Franchisees Interested in hiring EB-3 Visa workers

McDonald’s franchisees struggling with Crew Member staff shortages may want to consider leveraging the EB-3 visa program.

Here are the key steps involved:

Determine Qualifying Positions. Crew Member is often the most common position sponsored by McDonald’s operators.

Determine the locations that are the most difficult to staff.

Consult with our team of recruiters and immigration attorneys at We can help confirm which positions qualify for the EB-3 Visa.

Engage with our team to commence the recruitment of foreign national workers for you to interview and select, and then our team will proceed with their EB-3 Visa processing

Onboard new employees as they arrive with their legal employment authorization.

With the EB-3 Visa program, a full staff and maximized profits could once again be within reach.

McDonald’s franchisees battling staffing woes should strongly consider hiring EB-3 visa workers if they are unable to fill their full time positions with U.S. workers.

Consulting our experienced immigration attorney and recruiter team at is the first step to navigating the program successfully.

Investing now in an EB-3 visa hiring strategy can pay huge dividends down the road for understaffed franchises.


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