Fast Food Restaurants Can’t Even Give Jobs Away

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In an effort to attract new workers, Chipotle announced on Monday it would be raising average pay for restaurant workers up to $15 an hour by the end of June, CNBC reports.

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This is in addition to employee referral bonuses of $200 for crew members and $750 for apprentices or general managers. Chipotle is looking to add 20,000 new workers across all of its locations to support peak season.

In an interview with CNBC, CEO Brian Niccol spoke to the difficulties the restaurant industry has faced this past year. He said the current labor market is among the most challenging he’s seen in his career and that in this environment Chipotle hopes to “convey opportunities that exist for growth within the brand,” CNBC reports.

Other fast food restaurants are incentivizing workers with added benefits to fill hiring requirements as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted as well.

McDonald’s has a goal of hiring 25,000 employees in Texas and 8,000 in Tennessee with Whataburger looking for 50,000 more people. Getting people through the door even for an interview though is difficult, reports Business Insider. For example, a McDonald’s in Florida is paying job candidates $50 just for an interview and even with that incentive they are having a difficult time filling open positions.

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Business Insider also noted that IHOP will be hosting a “National Recruiting Day” on May 19 in hopes of filling 10,000 open positions and Taco Bell already hosted “hiring parties” at more than a thousand stores to hire 5,000 employees. It was reported they even interviewed people from their cars.

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The restaurant industry, from fast to fine dining, was one of the hardest hit sectors during the coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden recently suggested that with increased vaccination rates and government relief to restaurants of all kinds, next month’s jobs report should show a significant uptick in this sector’s employment levels.

These recruitment programs also suggest an unwillingness for potential employees to return to restaurant quarters just yet. Whether or not stimulus relief and recruitment events will be enough to boost the sector’s jobs will show itself in next month’s numbers.

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