Raising Cane’s Chicken Joint is temporarily turning office workers into cashiers and cooks – housing them in hotels at company expense – to help bolster its workforce amid labor shortages work and increase in wages.
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company will deploy a third of its 750 corporate employees, or 250 people, as frontline workers, according to plans that emerged last week.
Another 250 marketers and trainers will switch to catering and recruiting after the number of online applications declined last month, though the company says it has added 5,000 crew members in the past year.
“It’s all on deck,” co-CEO and COO AJ Kumaran told CNN.
He told Fox News the fast food chain has been challenged by rising chicken costs and wages.
Most of the company’s employees work in Dallas, Texas. It is not known where they will be deployed, but Kumaran said it was voluntary.
The move comes after a disappointing jobs report on Friday showed the US economy only created 194,000 of the expected 500,000 jobs. In total, there are still 2 million more Americans unemployed than there were before the pandemic.
Raising Cane’s will turn a third of its employees into cooks and cashiers for 1 to 2 weeks
The Louisiana-based chain says the decline in online apps, combined with a labor shortage and rising food costs and wages, are behind the move.
Most of the company’s 750 employees work in the Dallas, Texas office above
Raising Cane reassigned workers will be accommodated in hotels for one to two weeks at company expense.
“This is obviously an unprecedented time, there is no manual on how to get out of this,” Kumaran told CNN.
The executive said Cane would invest $ 70 million in workers’ wages, with hourly workers seeing increases of 15-22% in the coming weeks.
The September US employment report found that “growing demand for labor associated with the recovery from the pandemic may have put upward pressure on wages.”
The unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage point to 4.8%. Industries that recorded employment gains include recreation and hospitality, professional and business services, retailing, and transportation and warehousing.
Yet 7.7 million Americans are unemployed – meaning they look for work and can’t find it – up from 5.7 million in February 2020, before the pandemic.
“This is obviously an unprecedented time, there is no manual on how to get by,” CEO and COO AJ Kumaran told CNN.
They have 600 locations in 31 states. Five hundred of its 750 company employees work in Dallas
Republicans are calling the new employment numbers “pathetic” and say it’s proof that President Joe Biden’s multibillion-dollar spending plans aren’t working.
The report dealt another blow after Biden scored his lowest approval rating to date – 38% – according to a new Quinnipiac poll.
Raising Cane’s has 600 locations in 31 states.
The company said transferring its employees to in-store roles for a few weeks shouldn’t be difficult because most of them have already been trained as fried cooks or cashiers, CNN reports.
The first Raising Cane’s opened at the entrance to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 1996, according to the restaurant’s website. It was founded by Todd Graves, whose title is listed as “Founder, CEO, Fry Cook & Cashier”, with the help of a loan from the Federal Small Business Administration.
About 78% of restaurant owners say they have seen customer demand drop in recent weeks due to the highly contagious Delta variant, according to a survey of 4,000 operators released by the National Restaurant Association last month.
A survey of 4,000 restaurateurs in September found that 71% are understaffed
Seventy-one percent are understaffed and nearly all, 95 percent, have experienced supply chain delays in the past three months.
Additionally, 91 percent pay more for food and 84 percent pay more for work.
In a letter to Congress on September 29, the National Restaurant Association opposed some of the terms of Biden’s Build Back Better Act, calling them too costly for businesses.
“Our nation’s restaurant recovery is officially in reverse,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association.
“The lingering effects of the delta variant are a further drag on an industry struggling with rising costs and falling revenues. We support many of the goals of the Build Back Better Act, but the legislation is too broad and too expensive a control for small businesses. ‘
The group, which represents half a million restaurants, is opposed to the increase in the corporate tax rate. He also opposes increasing fines for labor law violations under the National Industrial Relations Act.
In its latest campaign, Raising Cane’s is looking to hire 10,000 more employees in 50 days.
Kumaran says the company started 2021 with 35,000 crew members and now has 40,000. He hopes to make 50,000 by the end of the year.
It is not clear what the starting salary at Cane is, although online job postings offer health insurance and paid time off after a year on the job.
Friday’s jobs report showed unemployment fell more than expected, but there are still 2 million more unemployed than before the pandemic
Cane’s did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s requests for comment.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor said the labor shortage could benefit workers in the long run.
“Indeed, the only times in the past four decades that American workers without a college degree have seen rapid and lasting improvements in working conditions were during similar periods of labor shortages,” Autor wrote. in a New York Times editorial last month.
Autor noted that while many blame the expansion of federal unemployment benefits for the shortage, other countries that have not extended benefits are experiencing similar labor force declines.
“Imagine the United States had a market mechanism that made employers voluntarily pay higher wages, provide better benefits, and use workers more productively. In fact, this mechanism exists – it’s called a labor shortage, ”Autor wrote.
Companies take huge steps to fill their ranks, going so far as to offer generous benefits as incentives or to drop certain requirements altogether.
Recruitment firm ManpowerGroup published a survey last month that found that 9% of more than 45,000 businesses in 43 countries were willing to ignore recreational drug use if it meant filling vacancies.
Amazon has announced that it will no longer test its candidates for marijuana in June.
Some state and federal leaders have considered using federal incentives to get people back to work over the summer.
One idea was to tap into federal unemployment assistance to create bonuses for people who land a job.
Bonuses, which states would be allowed to distribute, would range from $ 600 to $ 1,200 under legislation proposed by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).