Industry News | May 8, 2017 | By Danny Klein | QSR Exclusive Brief

Taco Bell's 100,000-Job Promise Has Begun

Taco Bell continues to grow, adding locations and new employees along the way. Taco Bell
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Taco Bell’s road to 100,000 new jobs is ready to get started. The commitment kicks off in earnest this month as the brand plans to add 3,500 new positions this summer alone, it announced in a release. Taco Bell also expects to fill 50,000 additional positions during its busiest season of the year.

“Last year we announced our commitment to hire 100,000 new team members in our system by 2022,” says Brian Niccol, chief executive officer at Taco Bell, in a statement. “We are now taking that commitment to the next level with recruiting and employment programs to help us and our franchisees invest in our employees, and their experience, in significant ways.”

In November, Taco Bell revealed this goal along with its massive growth plan, which calls for roughly 200 stores annually over the next six years, or a total of 8,000 stateside and 9,000 global locations by that date. Basically, around 1,000 U.S. stores over the next few years.

Knowing that it plans to open a sustainable amount of stores, Taco Bell is stepping up its hiring game. Tuesday also marked the next phase in the Yum! Brands company’s partnership with Roadtrip Nation, a program that captures stories of current and former employees through the online platform, Share Your Road. Employees can create profiles and connect with one another on the site.

“We’re proud to partner with Taco Bell on this innovative approach to help current and prospective employees visualize paths to progression either within or beyond such a forward-thinking company,” says Mike Marriner, co-founder of Roadtrip Nation, in a statement.

Taco Bell is also launching a 30 under 30 list to recognize the young talent in its organization. “Our system’s employees are central to creating exceptional experiences for the 46 million customers we serve each week,” says Frank Tucker, chief people officer at Taco Bell, in a statement. “Taco Bell and our franchisees are committed to building workplaces where team members want to work and grow. That starts by showcasing the diverse pathways in the Taco Bell system and celebrating employees’ achievements, which we’re doing by shining a spotlight on some of Taco Bell’s most impressive young talent.”

The 30 under 30 members were nominated by Taco Bell leadership and franchisees.

“Taco Bell team members are our biggest and most important brand ambassadors, and we are proud of and committed to maintaining the fact that 80 percent of our restaurant leadership roles are promoted from within,” Tucker adds. “Each of our 30 under 30 list honorees is living más every day, truly embodying the brand’s culture and values, and deserves to be recognized.”

Taco Bell’s Start with Us, Stay with Us platform is part of the plan and designed to reward employees in hopes of inspiring longevity.

Here are some of the programs being offered by Taco Bell:

The Graduate for Mas program, which has enrolled nearly 600,000 people to date, is a partnership between the Taco Bell Foundation and Get Schooled. Participants who make the promise to graduate are given access to resources, mentorship support, prizes, and rewards, such as scholarships.

At the next level, Taco Bell created a GED Certification Program in tandem with GED Testing Services.

Taco Bell also has what it calls the Excelsior Program. Excelsior College, an accredited non-profit institution, offers Taco Bell staff the chance to earn a flexible online degree at discounted prices. This extends to the employee’s immediate family as well.

New in 2016, Taco Bell announced the Live Mas Scholarship. Aimed at perspective students who didn’t fit into the typical athletic or academic mold, a total of $275,000 is available for 50 restaurant employees.

Taco Bell is also committed to hiring roughly 1.5 million people between ages 16—24 in the coming decade.