Many U.S. households remain financially compromised post-recession and one area we see this play out is in fast food and retail sectors.Many U.S. households remain financially compromised post-recession and one area we see this play out is in fast food and retail sectors. Older workers displaced from better-paying jobs—or unable to land any to begin with—are snatching minimum wage fast-food positions and pushing teens out of this workforce. NBC recently reported that today teens land just 16% of fast-food jobs, down from 25% a decade ago. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42% of fast-food and restaurant workers over the age of 25 have some college education. Despite this however, limited pay keep many on food stamps, or force them to cobble together several jobs to equate a full-time salary. We at The Lempert Report, see an opportunity for both foodservice and retail operators to cultivate educated workers, and be inspired to serve customers better and increase chain profits. We’ve reported previously on more equitable workforce approaches of Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market, which all perform well. We urge retailers to wake up to its bounty of workforce talent that fell in its lap due to the difficult economy—and instead of business as usual, conceive ways to motivate them to stay and improve enterprises.