Why Chipotle is going on a 4,000-person, one-day hiring spree

Burrito jobs for all.
Burrito jobs for all.
Image: Chipotle
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Chipotle is looking to replenish its worker ranks. And fast.

Last year the chain promoted 10,000 people to management and has opened nearly 100 restaurants so far in 2015. In an industry with high turnover and an increasingly tight labor market, finding good people is getting tougher. That’s why on September 9th Chipotle plans to to host its first career day, interview as many as 60 people at each of its nearly 1,700 US locations, and hire 4,000 of them.

Part of the experiment is just about timing, according to CEO Monty Moran.

“September is a slower time of year, in large measure probably due to school starting up and and people not thinking about taking up a new job as much,” Moran told Quartz. 

The company’s emphasis on promoting people rapidly means it constantly needs to replenish its ranks. It’s also a big part of the pitch it makes to potential employees. Starting salaries are around $10 an hour, but there’s potential to advance. On average it takes a person two years to go from crew to management, Moran says. A full 95% of its managers come from within the company.

Managers that run top restaurants and make it through a tough evaluation process, which includes a personal review from Moran, can become what the company calls a “Restaurateur” and make upwards of six figures.

That’s a nice carrot to dangle in front of someone about to start at an hourly wage. But they have a long road to travel. There are currently only about 400 restauranteurs working at the company.