Canton, Mass. — Fast-food breakfast chain Dunkin’ (NASDAQ: DNKN) has announced plans to hire 25,000 new employees nationwide as the company looks to lead the charge out of nationwide coronavirus quarantines. Taco Bell recently made a similar declaration, vowing in late May to hire 30,000 workers this summer.
With 55,000 planned hires between just two companies, quick-service restaurants could be an early sign of economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reliance on drive-thru and pickup orders makes fast food a natural type of restaurant to rebound first. On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate was 13.3 percent, down from 14.7 percent in April. Economists expected an increase in unemployment in May, but 2.5 million jobs were added during the month.
Dunkin’ has more than 9,500 locations in the U.S. and a total of 13,100 locations in 41 countries.
Canton-based Dunkin’ launched its first-ever national restaurant employee recruitment advertising campaign through a series of “Dunkin’ Runs on You” national TV broadcast and digital spots that will be aired in English and Spanish beginning today. Available jobs range from front-counter employees to managers. A timeline for the hirings was not disclosed.
Taco Bell’s newly created positions are intended to keep the drive-thru running smoothly; manage delivery, curb-side pickup and mobile app orders; and to maintain sanitation and cleanliness practices during the pandemic. The Irvine, Calif.-based company is adopting best practices for hiring during a pandemic, such as introducing virtual and curbside interviews.
As part of its ad campaign launch, Dunkin’ is also partnering with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to offer employees path to obtaining a bachelor’s or associates degree. SNHU is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 135,000 students online and on campus.
Dunkin’s stock price opened Monday at $71.50 per share. Although that represents an 11 percent drop from a year ago, it is a significant rebound from its pandemic-low of $39.68 per share on March 20. Dunkin’ notes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 90 percent of its restaurants have remained open.
— Alex Tostado