Staffing shortages, supply chain snafus and a flood of pandemic-induced online orders have Chipotle employees overwhelmed at their jobs while the company revenue soars, according to a new MarketWatch report.
Some Chipotle workers in the Bronx walked out in a strike Sunday afternoon to protest working conditions, after the company announced a Halloween promotion for online orders that would have flooded the system. A similar discount earlier this year led to chaos, overwork, food shortages and angry customers.
Online sales for Chipotle are booming like never before; according to the latest data from the third quarter earnings call, the company has made $2.7 billion in online food orders this year, compared to $2.8 billion for all of last year. Chipotle revenue was up 27% year-over-year in the same quarter, while staffing has increased by less than 10%.
The Service Employees International Union helped sponsor the Bronx walkout, though Chipotle workers are not unionized. The Halloween strike was a tiny cap on a month of walkouts across industries protesting staffing shortages and salaries, ranging from 10,000 employees nationally at John Deere to thousands at Kellogg and Kaiser Permanente.
Amazon is also struggling to find and hire the workers it needs for jobs like warehousing and delivery, and the company is offering hiring bonuses and slightly higher starting wages to lure talent amid a tight national labor market. The staffing shortages and protests aren't hitting just food service jobs or just the lower end of the wage spectrum; tech companies broadly are fighting desperately for talent (including Facebook, for top-level engineers) and dealing with workers ready to walk out in protest (including Netflix and Activision Blizzard).
Correction: An earlier version of this story improperly cited the source of the report. This story was updated on Nov. 1, 2021.