Why Chipotle Hasn't Been Affected By The Great Resignation, According To Its CEO

It's something you've been starting to notice more often than not nowadays. Help Wanted signs, posters advertising sign-on bonuses, even Facebook posts from companies claiming they are in desperate need of help. With over 4.5 million people resigning from their jobs in November 2021 to search for better pay and better working conditions (via SHRM), many companies in the service sector are starting to feel the pinch. A Burger King in Nebraska became a media hotbed in July 2021, as fed-up workers resigned and walked out en masse, sick of the poor treatment and uncaring corporate attitude (via Civil Eats). McDonald's has even begun increasing benefits to try and keep workers while still attracting new ones (via QSR Magazine). Be it pandemic-related reasons or low pay, it seems that fast food has taken a severe blow as what has become "The Great Resignation." 

Yet it seems that one company has managed to keep afloat among a sea of harsh "I quit" notes and resignation papers. How is Chipotle, the Mexican food-based fast-food company, doing so well while others are floundering and fighting for workers?

The company raised prices to increase wages

If you've noticed that your burrito bowl seems a bit more pricey than you remember, you wouldn't be wrong in thinking so. Per Restaurant Dive, Chipotle's menu prices are 10% higher than they were in 2020. While it may hurt your wallet a bit, you can take some comfort in knowing that this increase in prices helps support the workers behind the counter.

During a recent quarterly earnings call with investors, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol claimed that the Great Resignation hasn't happened at Chipotle, thanks to the pay increase of $15 dollars per hour (via Business Insider). In the same call, Niccol claimed that sales were in fact up by 19.3% from the past year, as digital ordering has found a place at Chipotle. This increase in sales has attracted more workers, with Chipotle seeking to hire 20,000 employees to fill 200 locations. While rising wages have kept Chipotle employees on board, there have been times when employees have resigned en masse; such a case occurred in November 2021, involving a manager and several Chipotle employees at a Kentucky location (via The Daily Dot).

Indeed, it would appear that raising wages is enough to keep workers on board, at least for the moment. As restaurant workers are protesting to demand higher wages (via ABC News) many companies, such as Walmart and Amazon, are promising increased wages and bonuses to keep ahead in a time of inflation and economic uncertainty.