In a bid to attract more employees, Chipotle is raising its average hourly wage to $15 per hour. The fast-casual Mexican chain plans to hire 20,000 workers and open 200 new locations this year.
Chipotle will also offer a $200 referral bonus for crew members and $750 for apprentices or general managers. Starting pay ranges from $11-$18 per hour, and the average hourly increase will be $2.
“We are sharing with people that it’s not just a job right now, but it’s actually a job that can lead to a meaningful career,” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told CNBC. “I’m glad that we’re a company that’s got the growth, and frankly the strength, to increase wages and start talking more about how the job leads to your future growth with our company.”
Chipotle says it’s possible to ascend to the position of restaurateur in the company in about three and a half years. The average compensation for that role is $100,000 per year.
“Chipotle is committed to providing industry-leading benefits and accelerated growth opportunities, and we hope to attract even more talent by showcasing the potential income that can be achieved in a few short years,” Chipotle executive Marissa Andrada said in a statement. “We’re looking for people who are authentic, passionate and want to help cultivate a better world through real food and real personal development.”
The restaurant industry is struggling with widespread staffing problems as customer demand picks up with vaccination efforts across the country. In addition to raising wages, companies are also turning to other incentives to attract workers.
At one McDonald’s location in the Tampa, Florida area, they are offering candidates $50 cash just to come in for an interview. Other restaurants are offering increased and improved benefits packages, including perks such as tuition assistance, flexible hours, vaccination incentives and employee discounts.