At the moment some restaurants are struggling to find people who actually want to work for them. In an effort to rectify that, at least for its establishments, Chipotle is publicizing higher pay and better opportunities for internal advancement.
On Monday, the popular chain announced it’d be bumping up pay for its workers to a $15 per hour average. It also said some employees could be eligible for its highest general manager position (a restaurateur) within about three-and-a-half years.
The wage bumps will happen for new and existing employees at some point by the end of June. Pay will be between $11 and $18 per hour. As for the GM job, that has an “average compensation” of $100,000.
Chipotle is doing all this as it aims to add 20,000 employees before the summer. To try and ignite that push it also has a $200 employee referral bonus for crew members, a $750 referral bonus for apprentices and general managers, and will hold a virtual job fair through its Discord platform on Thursday, May 13.
The hiring bonuses and pay increases are an attempt to entice people who could be relying on increased unemployment benefits. Those benefits could amount to about the same they’d make at a restaurant if they were low-earning employees. Amidst the pandemic, other people simply bailed from the food industry in pursuit of other career paths, and there’s also uncertainty regarding future school/child-care plans (see: it’s kind of hard to prep for those at the moment).
Other fast food chains are also trying their best to get workers right now. CNN reports Taco Bell was aiming to get at least 5,000 people hired on a single day last month, while IHOP is trying to hire twice as many, and McDonald’s is looking for 25,000 employees in just the state of Texas alone.
Tons of moving parts.
As for Chipotle’s past issues with employees, the company is currently facing a lawsuit from the state of New York, following allegations that it’d skirted a law that requires fast food restaurants to give employees more predictable/less chaotic work schedules than it was handing out. That legal proceeding argues that Chipotle wasn’t giving employees scheduling estimates, and that it often failed to give a mandatory two weeks notice required under the law.
It’s also alleged that the company made false documents that claimed employees “waived” the premium pay they were supposed to get because of these violations. The suit also claims Chipotle didn’t offer more shifts to existing employees before hiring new ones, as required by law, which the state says doomed “thousands of employees” to “involuntary part-time limbo.”