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Chipotle overcomes labor shortage as staffing is back at pre-pandemic levels
Chipotle Mexican Grill revealed that its staffing is back to the level before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The company’s chief executive officer and chairman, Brian Niccol, announced this development during the earnings call on Tuesday, April 26.
Chipotle also reported better earnings and revenue results which were better than expected. However, the company is dealing with higher costs of labor; thus, it is also exploring automation.
"Chipotle's performance in the first quarter was strong, despite challenges from the Omicron variant and ongoing inflation," the company chief said in a press release. "Our investments in our people, coupled with our digital system and commitment to culinary-driven by Food With Integrity, resulted in serving more guests at our restaurants with excellence."
As per CNBC, Niccol mentioned the status of the company’s staffing as most employers today are struggling to find workers. Many companies are having a hard time with hiring and retaining a full staff not only because of safety concerns related to COVID-19 but also due to the surging inflation.
Apparently, the pandemic is stopping people from coming to the workplace; thus, potential workers never apply for a job. Many also prefer to work from home, so fewer people are actually working on the site. This is why Chipotle’s announcement of having a full staff is quite an achievement today.
“Our staffing is actually at levels pre-pandemic and frankly, our turnover is probably the best it has been in,” the Chipotle CEO told CNBC’s Mad Money. “I do not know, a couple of years, especially at the manager level.”
The company shared it made use of various strategies to attract work applicants last year. Some of the things Chipotle did was issue a pay hike, recruitment via TikTok, and add referral bonuses.
Then again, despite its success in the recruitment of workers, Niccol said that Chipotle is still considering automation and looking for ways to do it. He explained that they would automate the unpleasant parts of work as they see this move as beneficial for retaining the staff since this will lighten their workload. This will also help get kitchen tasks done faster.
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