McDonald’s branch is offering iPhones in a bid to attract new hires

One McDonald's branch has come up with a unique new way to get people to apply for jobs there.

In an attempt to get a flurry of applicants, the branch, in Altamont, Illinois, is giving out free iPhones to new hires.

The news went viral on Twitter after a passerby spotted a photo of the "now hiring" poster in the window and decided to share it online.

The poster says employees who meet the criteria will receive an iPhone after six months of employment.

The iPhones are only being promoted at this owner-operator's McDonald's location, where wages start at $13 (9.21) an hour. Minimum wage in Illinois is $11 (£7.79) per hour.

McDonald's has employee programmes and benefits to help the owner-operators of franchises stay competitive in the challenging hiring market, Mark Salebra, chair of the U.S. National Franchisee Leadership Alliance, said in a statement to CBS News.

Maccies typically hires more people in the summer, and owner-operators deploy various programmes at their franchises.

These include pay incentives such as sign-on and referral bonuses and benefits like offering paid time off, McDonald's USA says.

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McDonald's said earlier this month that its company-owned restaurants were looking to hire 10,000 new employees over three months.

It also said it would raise hourly wages by an average of 10% for more than 36,500 employees at McDonald's-owned restaurants.

The company said in a news release: "These increases, which have already begun, will be rolled out over the next several months and include shifting the entry level range for crew to at least $11 – $17 an hour, and the starting range for shift managers to at least $15 – $20 an hour based on restaurant location."

McDonald's has been hitting headlines elsewhere this week as animal protests cause two branches to close.

Protesters who blocked entrances and exits to four McDonald's distribution centres over the weekend, causing a fast food shortage.

The restaurant on Burn Road in Hartlepool and the branch at Hartlepool Marina both appeared closed when hungry customers turned up to buy food.

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