Chipotle to hire 10,000 employees

Hiring is heating up at Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The fast-casual chain will hire 10,000 new workers in the next few months, the company said Wednesday.

The Newport, California-based fast-casual chain is continuing its employment initiative that’s already resulted in 8,000 new hires since it’s "We Are Open. We are Growing. We Are Hiring" campaign kicked off in May. The chain, known for its burritos and rice bowls, says it has received close to 700,000 applications nationwide since the beginning of the year.

While the majority of the restaurant industry has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic as a result of nationwide lockdowns, capacity limits and social distancing mandates, Chipotle will continue to expand. The restaurant said it's opening its 100th "Chipotlane," the chain's drive-thru digital order pick-up lane, later this month that will require 50 percent more workers than its regular restaurant locations.

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The new Chipotlane location will be in the Columbus, Ohio area, and are expected to be included in more than 60 percent of new Chipotle restaurants, the company said.

The opening comes as Chipotle has seen substantial growth stemming from its digital ordering capabilities. The chain’s digital orders surged by 81 percent to $371.8 million, which accounted for 26 percent of sales for the quarter, the chain reported in April.

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To adapt during the pandemic, Chipotle added contactless pickup and delivery options to bolster its digital sales and teamed with social media influencers to share wellness tips to coincide with its healthier "Lifestyle Bowl" menu options. Chipotle also increased employee wages by 10 percent.

Chipotle is also leaning into more plant-based menu options. On Monday, the Mexican grill debuted its new cauliflower rice, launching at select restaurant locations.

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