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Chipotle launches campaign to hire 15,000 for upcoming ‘burrito season’

This year’s massive hiring effort includes behind-the-scenes videos and a focus on the career-growth opportunities.
Chipotle hiring campaign
Last year, 90% of restaurant management roles were filled from within. /Photo courtesy of Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Chipotle Mexican Grill on Thursday launched a campaign to hire 15,000 new workers in preparation for the busy “burrito season,” which is typically from March to May.

Massive hiring efforts like this are not new for the fast-casual brand, which has the goal of more than doubling its footprint to 7,000 locations in North America.

In 2015 and 2016, the company hired as many as 5,000 in one day with National Career Day events. More recently, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain has taken to TikTok and other social media platforms to recruit Gen Z candidates and communicate the brand’s career growth opportunities and industry-leading benefits.

Those efforts appear to be paying off, company officials said Thursday.

Chipotle said its retention rate is two times higher among workers enrolled in education assistance programs, for example. Chipotle offers tuition reimbursement and debt-free college degrees, as well as benefits that include bonus opportunities, access to mental health care and English as a second language classes.

And crew members who participate in education programs are six times more likely to move into management roles. In 2022, about 22,000 workers moved up the ranks with internal promotions, the company said. About 90% of restaurant management roles were filled internally, including all U.S. regional vice president positions, 81% of team directors and 74% of field leader jobs.

“Our goal is to develop and retain diverse talent at every level of the organization and be the employer of choice,” said Scott Boatwright, Chipotle’s chief restaurant officer, in a statement.

The new campaign includes “documentary-style” television spots that “peel back the foil” to show what it’s like to work at Chipotle.

The series features six crew members from restaurants across the country that have risen through the ranks, such as Nakeysha Clark, a certified training manager in Washington, D.C.

 “Working at Chipotle over the past nine years and learning from its restaurant leaders has changed my life,” Clark said in a statement. “As my career path has evolved, I am now able to impact other people’s lives and provide new opportunities for growth like someone did for me.”

Though unemployment claims remain historically low across the country and restaurant operators continue to struggle to attract workers to the industry, this year’s recruitment effort by Chipotle comes amid headlines of layoffs in the tech industry, including companies like Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon, and fears of an impending recession.

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