Chipotle attracted nearly 24,000 applicants through an online job fair a week after the chain announced it was boosting its minimum wage

Chipotle
  • Chipotle got nearly 24,000 applicants in a one week period through Discord.
  • Chipotle announced it would raise average wages to $15 per hour.
  • The restaurant industry is struggling to hire workers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Chipotle says it received more than 23,000 job applications through online chat platform Discord. The thousands of applicants came just after the fast casual chain announced it would raise the average hourly wage to $15 and hire 20,000 new workers.

As retailers struggle to hire workers, Chipotle became the first brand to launch a career fair on Discord, the company said. Discord is a group chatting platform originally built for gamers, but the service is now used by all kinds of online communities. The Discord server hosted recruitment content and sessions with Chipotle employees on benefits and career paths.

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Over a one-week period, Chipotle told Insider that it received 23,873 total applications following the career fair, an increase of 77% over the previous week and 298% over the first week of April.

Earlier in May, Chipotle announced plans to raise hourly wages for workers, bringing the average up $2 from $13 to $15. Wages will range from $11 to $18 an hour, going into effect by June.

Chipotle is hiring for thousands of jobs, including 20,000 open roles, plus workers to staff the 200 new locations planned to open this year. Hiring has been difficult for many companies that have reported a lack of candidates for open positions. But retail and restaurants are are also struggling to retain workers who want to leave for new opportunities. That’s making the sector’s labor crunch even worse.

Subway, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell, along with others, are advertising thousands of open positions online in hopes of staffing up and returning to pre-pandemic hours with open dining rooms. Some hiring managers are advertising perks like $50 for an interview, signing bonuses, and referral programs.

It seems perks aren’t enough to restaff restaurants as thousands of people leave the industry for good. In that case, raising wages as Chipotle did may be the only way to attract workers.

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