Chipotle Goes on Hiring Spree of 15,000 Amid Strong Growth

 Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is adding 15,000 jobs across its North American locations — a sign that demand for restaurant food is remaining robust despite high inflation and economic uncertainty. 

The burrito chain’s hiring push is meant to ensure its more than 3,000 US restaurants are fully staffed for the company’s busiest season, which stretches from March to May, Chipotle said Thursday. The company has more than 100,000 US restaurant workers.

The company has performed well during the pandemic, with revenue gaining 26% in 2021 and about 15% in the first three quarters of 2022. (It reports fourth-quarter results next month.) A larger workforce may help expansion efforts; Chipotle says it can more than double its footprint in the long term to 7,000 locations in North America. 

Chipotle and its peers have been raising wages in recent years to attract workers amid a labor crunch. The chain said its average wage was more than $16 an hour. The latest US jobs report offered little relief as demand for workers remained strong. Employment gains were led by the leisure and hospitality industries, which include restaurants.

Efforts to expand workforces in the restaurant and retail sectors contrast with the tech industry, where companies are cutting thousands of positions, citing economic uncertainty and a possible US recession.

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