To meet a surging demand stemming from digital sales, Chipotle Mexican Grill will hire up to 10,000 new employees over the next several months, the quick-service restaurant (QSR) announced Wednesday (July 15).
The QSR chain’s digital business climbed 80 percent year over year, according to its first quarter earnings report in April.
While consumers have been avoiding full-service restaurants during the pandemic — out of choice, necessity, or COVID-related state regulations — QSRs, which are more adept at offering delivery, takeout, drive thru service and mobile-ordering capabilities, have felt the love these past few months.
“I think the industry is going to make a shift here, and I think the brands that have positioned themselves digitally will be the benefactors early on and other brands will have to follow suit,” Chipotle Chief Restaurant Officer Scott Boatwright told Karen Webster in a PYMNTS interview.
Chipotle also announced it would be opening its 100th Chipotlane drive-thru digital order pickup lane in the Sunbury, Ohio, later this month. The company now has Chipotlanes in 32 states, according to its press release.
Drive-thrus are becoming more important as social distancing rules remain in place, and the speed and efficiency they offer help the QSR match its accelerated digital sales. They also require more staff members, a fact that is driving Chipotle’s push for 10,000 new employees, a number that includes both crew and management positions.
“Customers want convenience and appreciate the ability to personally retrieve their orders without leaving their car,” Boatwright said in the release. “With a dedicated team and kitchen devoted to digital orders, we need to continue to grow our workforce to support the increasing demand, especially in locations featuring a Chipotlane.”
The hiring push is part of Chipotle’s “We Are Open. We are Growing. We Are Hiring” campaign, which launched in May and has currently brought in about 8,000 hires, the company said.