Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will host its second annual National Career Day on Sept. 28, with the goal of hiring 5,000 new employees, the company said Wednesday.
Like last year, when Chipotle set out to hire 4,000 employees at the one-day event, managers at each U.S. restaurant will hold open interviews for up to 100 applicants from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Candidates must first register for an interview at www.nationalcareerday.com.
But the event comes as Chipotle faces increasing scrutiny about its employment practices.
The Denver-based operator is reportedly battling a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of workers who claim Chipotle forced them to work off the clock without pay, often called wage theft. Company executives deny wrongdoing and say the case has no merit.
Earlier this week, however, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) urged the Labor Department to investigate.
Meanwhile, analysts have been urging Chipotle to cut back on labor to match lower sales volumes, as the chain struggles to rebuild traffic after a series of foodborne illness outbreaks last year.
Restaurant analyst Peter Saleh of BTIG noted in a recent report that Chipotle’s labor costs have crept up partly because management has beefed up staffing to make sure service is excellent for returning customers. Before the food-safety crisis in 2014, labor accounted for 22 percent of sales. In the first half of 2016, it was 29.3 percent of sales.
“While we understand the deleveraging effect of the lower volumes, and increased employee turnover, we believe there are likely some efficiencies that can be achieved on labor expense,” Saleh wrote.
Chipotle continues to position itself as a brand offering a solid career path for entry-level workers.
Over the past year, 11,000 hourly workers have been promoted to management positions across the 2,000-unit chain, the company said.
The company also offers a benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance; a 401K matching program; employee stock options; paid sick leave and vacation; tuition assistance and discounted college classes; merit pay increases and an annual bonus.
No experience is required, though Chipotle looks for 13 characteristics in potential hires: being conscientious, respectful, hospitable, high energy, infectiously enthusiastic, happy, presentable, smart, polite, motivated, ambitious, curious and honest.