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Chipotle hiring 15,000 restaurant workers ahead of busy spring months

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A “Now Hiring” sign is displayed in front of a Chipotle restaurant on October 07, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images

Chipotle Mexican Grill is seeking to hire 15,000 restaurant workers ahead of its busiest time of the year, which runs from March to May.

In recent months, restaurants have found it easier to attract and retain workers, a reversal after the labor crunch that ensued after pandemic lockdowns. However, the sector has always had high turnover, and restaurants are still concerned about having enough employees to meet demand, even as some consumers pull back on going out to eat amid persistent inflation.

And while layoffs have hit white-collar workers, primarily in the tech industry, low-wage retail and restaurant workers haven’t faced any large-scale cuts. The unemployment rate for eating and drinking places was 5.2% in December, down from the pre-pandemic rate of 5.7%, according to Labor Department data.

Chipotle’s Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatwright said in a statement that the company will keep hiring to support its “aggressive growth plans.” Nearly a year ago, the chain revised its long-term outlook for unit growth. It’s now aiming to double its store footprint to 7,000 locations eventually, up from a prior target of 6,000.

Chipotle said that it’s working on improving and speeding up its hiring process. To attract and retain workers, the company offers benefits like free meals, tuition reimbursement, debt-free college degrees, access to mental health care and an all-crew bonus worth an extra month’s pay each year.

Chipotle has more than 100,000 employees currently. 

The burrito chain is expected to report its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Feb. 7.

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