Labor shortages are hitting fast-food restaurants hard, and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is looking to its corporate staff bench to put enough workers on the playing field. It seems like an all-hands-on-deck kind of moment for the chain.
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company with more than 500 nationwide locations is sending corporate employees to help. Those executives will work with recruiting and work as fry cooks and cashiers. According to Bloomberg, the company is working to hire 10,000 hourly restaurant workers in the next 50 days.
Overall, the company reportedly has 40,000 workers and is planning to open more locations next year.
Sending In Reinforcements
According to Business Insider, 200 Dallas-based workers and 250 “field team” workers (marketing, trainers, etc.) are mobilizing to places all over the country. Senior vice presidents were also in the mix for these particular assignments.
Co-CEO and COO AJ Kumaran told Business Insider that the hiring market and the chain’s massive growth contributed to the decision.
“We are all in this together,” Kumaran said.
The fast-food company is trying to stay afloat with others during the pandemic. The Labor Department said new applications for jobs rose for the third straight week, and companies still need workers.
Kumaran told “TODAY” that the company’s pursuit of “meaningful crew members” has been a struggle.
The company says on its website that “crewmember lost their job due to the pandemic,” and if a store closed, the company paid “paid crewmembers to make masks for frontline workers in our Communities.”
A Plea For Help?
The executive said company officials started asking him how to help. He went on to say that everyone, including executives, begins at the level of fry cook or cashier in the company.
“If you look at my title, I am the COO, CEO, fry cook, and cashier,” he explained. “So I said, ‘Well, why don’t we all step in and help group people and help fill some holes?’”
The Raising Cane’s executive said many volunteered to “just do whatever it takes.”
Also, the company is looking to invest around $70 million in wage increases over the next few weeks for frontline workers. With some companies, prices of menu items go up. There’s no indication of Raising Cane’s following that trend yet.
National Restaurant Association spokesperson Vanessa Sink told TODAY that the industry needs nearly a million jobs.
“Restaurant jobs remain below June 2019 levels in 46 states and D.C,” Silk said.
During the pandemic, the fast-food company was adamant about its community support. Raising Cane’s boasted it was feeding frontline healthcare workers and giving to food banks on its website.
Finally, the company said it was “looking for new ways to chip in and help artists, faith-based organizations, pet welfare groups, and more.”