Chipotle Mexican Grill announced Monday that the company would be raising its hourly wages to an average of $15 an hour by the end of June, ranging from $11-$18 per hour for store-level employees. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based fast-casual chain is also adding a path to a restaurateur position (the highest level of general manager salary) for an average salary of $100,000 in as little as three and a half years.
“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,” Marissa Andrada, chief diversity, inclusion and people officer at Chipotle 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.”
In comparison, according to the company’s proxy statement released in April, CEO Brian Niccol made $38 million in 2020, approximately 2,898 times more than the median Chipotle employee. The median Chipotle employee is defined in the proxy statement as "an hourly part-time employee who works roughly 25 hours per week at one of [their] restaurants in Illinois” and makes $13,127 per year, or approximately $10 per hour.
In addition to these wage increases, Chipotle is also introducing a $200 referral bonus for store-level employees and $750 referral bonus for general managers. All of these announcements coincide with Chipotle’s spending spree as the company looks to open 200 more stores and add 20,000 team members.
This is the second announcement Chipotle has made in two months regarding employee salary and benefits: in April, the fast-casual chain announced that it would begin offering debt-free college degrees for employees in related fields including agriculture, culinary, supply chain, and hospitality.
Of course, Chipotle is not the first or only major restaurant chain to offer six figure salaries for general managers. In March, Whataburger announced that their general manager position would be enhanced to an “operating partner” with a six-figure salary and bonus potential of 150% their target incentive. In January 2020, Taco Bell announced that the quick-service chain would begin testing out six-figure manager salaries and In-N-Out has long been ahead of the industry standard, with store managers earning on average $160,000 a year since 2018.
Chipotle will also have its first virtual career fair on May 13, from 10 AM to 1 PM PT (1-4 PM ET) on the company’s Discord server.
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