Chipotle to hire 4,000 workers nationwide next month

A Chipotle Mexican Grill in Robinson Township, Pa.
A Chipotle Mexican Grill in Robinson Township, Pa. AP

In an effort to boost its competitiveness with top talent, Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to hire 4,000 in one day next month, potentially increasing its workforce by 7 percent.

The burrito chain will host a hiring day Sept. 9 from 8 to 11 a.m. at each of its nearly 1,900 restaurants. Some of the new employees will be hired to staff the approximately 200 new restaurants Chipotle will open this year, though most will fill openings at existing locations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Chipotle’s hiring spree comes at a time when fast-food restaurants are working extra hard to attract and retain talent. The improved economy, rising demand for restaurant meals and local minimum-wage increases have all shrunk the pool of available restaurant workers, the Journal reported. Chipotle usually pays starting employees just over $10 an hour.

The hiring also comes as Chipotle faces at least nine lawsuits in state and federal courts from workers who say Chipotle failed to compensate them for working overtime, which the company denies, the Journal reported.

The company has boasted that hourly workers can work their way up to “apprentice” roles making $53,000 a year, and “restaurateurs,” a management level with a salary of $133,000 a year, according to the Journal.

In the competitive restaurant industry, other chains are also offering perks to woo workers. Starbucks, for example, recently started a program offering an online undergraduate education from Arizona State University for its workers at a discounted tuition price.

Chipotle started promoting the hiring event Monday with an online ad campaign, as well as via social media and Pandora. According to its website, Chipotle promoted more than 4,000 of its crew members into manager roles last year.

Chipotle operates 14 Charlotte-area restaurants, according to its website. The chain currently employs about 59,000 nationwide.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta