The HR department at Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN) will likely be running on some extra cold brew coffee this summer.
Dunkin’ said Monday the franchisees at its namesake coffee and donut chain will look to hire 25,000 new employees in a bid to support an in flux of consumers as states reopen and return to some semblance of normal. No timeline was provided on when Dunkin’ plans to meet the hiring goal. The Dunkin’ brand operates more than 8,500 restaurants spanning 41 U.S. states.
Positions will range from front of the counter to restaurant manager spots. The company is also teaming up with Southern New Hampshire University to offer low-cost online college education to franchisee employees.
A source close to the matter said the hiring and education efforts have been in the works prior to the social unrest sweeping the country following the senseless murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police.
To spread the word, the company plans to launch its first-ever national advertising campaign targeted towards recruitment.
“Dunkin’ is committed to keeping America running and working. We are proud to support our franchisees who offer much-needed job opportunities, in a welcoming environment where people can feel appreciated and rewarded for serving both customers and their communities during this critical time,” said Stephanie Lilak, Dunkin’ Brands senior vice president and chief human resources officer, in a statement.
For restaurant workers continuing to reel financially from the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunkin’s hiring news (and others inevitably on the way from big chains) is welcome news.
Total employment for the restaurant industry has plunged by 4.7 million since its peak in February of this year just before the pandemic led to sweeping state lockdowns, according to the latest data from the federal government. The sector’s unemployment rate stood at 32.3%, almost three times the national average and up sharply from a low 5.7% in February.
Early signs of recovery in the sector’s employment prospects did emerge in May. The restaurant industry added about 1.4 million jobs in May from April as states gradually reopened and businesses continued to invest in delivery and curbside pickup.
“When you step back as a patriot, it’s really sad to see all of this. So you don’t wish that upon anyone. And so, that is, unfortunately what’s going on right now,” Dunkin’ Brands CEO David Hoffmann told Yahoo Finance recently on the state of the industry. Hoffmann is on the team of executives advising President Trump on how to safely and successfully reopen the U.S. economy.
“But look, right now we’re just focused on taking care of Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins and being a good corporate citizen in the communities we serve today. I think down the road, there’s a time to come and evaluate opportunities. That’s not our mission now,” Hoffmann added.