CEO says Chipotle team, back to pre-pandemic levels, is exploring automation

Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Brian Nicole told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday that staffing levels at the company are back to what they were before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our crew is actually at pre-pandemic levels, and frankly, our turnover is probably the best, I don’t know, a few years, especially at the director level,” Nicole said in a website interview.mad money. “

Chipotle mentioned Better-than-expected earnings and revenue on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv, but it saw labor-related costs rise.

The CEO’s comments come as employers struggle to hire and retain full staff as hyperinflation, unemployment benefits and Covid safety concerns have kept potential employees out of the workforce during the pandemic.

The March jobs report revealed The US economy added slightly fewer jobs than expected last month, with an unemployment rate of 3.6%.

Chipotle used a range of tactics in an attempt to lure applicants last year, Including Increase wages and introduce referral bonuses and Recruitment on TikTok.

Nicholl said the company also sees automating unpleasant parts of work as beneficial to employee retention. Chipotle said last month that it was working with Miso Robotics to customize a “chippy” device for cooking and seasoning the burrito maker’s signature tortilla chips.

We are looking for additional ways [automate]. How do we get rid of washing dishes? How do we cut and core an avocado? Nicole said our guys love mashing avocados in guacamole, so we’re not looking to replace that.

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