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Chipotle aims for 19,000 new hires, bolsters worker benefits

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Chipotle workers
Through new partnerships, Chipotle is offering new benefits aimed at attracting Gen Z workers.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is launching a major hiring push as it prepares to staff up for its busiest time of the year. 

The quick-service chain is aiming to hire 19,000 new employees for its upcoming “burrito season,” which runs from March to May. To attract new hires, Chipotle has added new financial and mental health benefits, including matching up to 4% of eligible employees’ salaries by making contributions to their 401(k) if they make student loan payments. (A complete list of the new benefits is at end of article.)

Chipotle currently employs more than 110,000 workers, with 73% of them being Gen Z. The new benefits cater specifically to the problems facing its young workforce, according to the company. 

“Empowering our talent is embedded in our company’s culture,” said Ilene Eskenazi, chief human resources officer at Chipotle. “As we push toward our long-term goal of operating 7,000 restaurants in North America, it’s crucial that we listen to and adapt to the needs of our team members, so they can grow with us.”

Last year, Chipotle was looking to hire 15,000 workers ahead of “burrito season.” The increased hiring target comes as the restaurant industry continues to face hiring challenges, with industry veterans switching to white-collar or warehouse jobs, seeking safety from COVID-19, better working conditions or both, according to CNBC.

Chipotle’s new benefits will enable eligible employees to:

  • Pay off student debt while saving for retirement: Utilizing SoFi’s Student Loan Verification (SLV) service, once an employee becomes eligible for Chipotle’s 401(k) plan match, the company will match up to 4% of an employee’s salary through contributions to their 401(k) if they make eligible student loan payments. The benefit solution, launched in response to Congress’ approval of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act (SECURE 2.0), allows employees who qualify to no longer have to choose between paying off student debt or saving for retirement.
  • Build credit through high-tech banking: Chipotle employees will have access to a premium banking experience from featuring a high-tech Visa card that offers security features, faster access to paychecks, and’s “Credit Optimizer," which helps build and boost credit scores automatically, even for employees who already have good credit.  
  • Manage their financial wellness: Chipotle’s partnership with SoFi will also give employees access to the SoFi at Work Dashboard, a leading financial well-being education platform, which includes an assessment of current financial outlook, followed by suggestions and tools to improve.
  • Access mental health resources: Chipotle’s New Employee Assistance Program (EAP), SupportLinc, powered by CuraLinc Healthcare, focuses on mental and emotional well-being. It includes six free sessions with a licensed counselor or mental health coach, as well as access to tools, resources, and community support for legal, financial and family matters.

“Today we have many examples of crew members rising through the ranks and now holding restaurant leadership roles, which are among the proudest accomplishments of this organization,” said Scott Boatwright, COO at Chipotle. “With 2024’s ‘burrito season’ approaching, there are more career opportunities than ever at Chipotle.” 

As of Sept. 30, 2023, Chipotle operated over 3,300 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France and Germany. It is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants in North America and Europe

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