Taco Bell announced Thursday that company-run stores, franchises, and licensed stores will hire at least 30,000 employees this summer.
The brand said it will hire for existing positions at all levels in the restaurant, in addition to new roles responsible for monitoring the drive-thru, managing delivery, curbside pickup, and the mobile app, and maintaining proper sanitation.
During this hiring process, Taco Bell will leverage virtual and curbside interviews.
"Since COVID-19 became a reality, we have continued our commitment to putting our people first," said Kelly McCulloch, chief people officer, in a statement. “We work closely with our franchisees to ensure that we're meeting the needs of our restaurant teams. Their safety and wellbeing remain our first priority. With this new hiring wave, we look forward to expanding our Taco Bell family and providing great, safe jobs to even more people.”
While dining rooms have been closed, roughly 95 percent of Taco Bell stores have operated via drive-thru, pick-up, and delivery.
To ensure health and safety, Taco Bell introduced seven enhanced safety steps in early April: prioritizing contactless service and payment, requiring employees to wear gloves and providing masks to employees, sealing every order, following industry-leading COVID-19 training, dedicating one worker to cleaning high-frequency touch points, installing sanitation stations in dining rooms and providing a sanitation wipe with each drive-thru order, and checking employees’ temperature before each shift.
Taco Bell and franchisees offer access to employee assistance programs and virtual doctor appointments, as well.
"During these tough times, we want job-seekers to know that we're hiring and we're safe," said McCulloch. "Our 'Start With Us, Stay With Us' mantra rings true even during this unprecedented time. Whether you've worked with us before, find yourself looking for a new opportunity or are looking for your first job, we're here for you and can provide great career opportunities—even if it's just to help get you back on your feet. In partnership with our franchisees, we hope that we can use our footprint and be a part of the solution to help kickstart the workforce.”
The fast-food chain joins other brands that have gone on a hiring spree amid the pandemic, including Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, and Domino’s.
Taco Bell was on its way to 6 percent growth in Q1 before COVID-19 sent it to a slight 1 percent systemwide lift, lapping 4 percent growth in the year-ago period. Yum! CEO David Gibbs said during the company’s earnings call in April that drive-thru—which is at 95 percent of units—and delivery represent close to 100 percent of sales. Despite the increased drive-thru volume, the brand has been able to maintain its below 4-minute drive-thru times while hitting all-time lows in customer dissatisfaction.