Chipotle Mexican Grill workers received a pay increase, so much so that the food prices are getting a hike, too.
The restaurant is raising its prices by about 4 percent to cover recent increases in workers’ wages.
Chipotle is one of many in the food and beverage industry that has struggled with worker shortages. That has led to higher wages, and the consumer is now feeling the pain.
The chain is not alone, either, with Starbucks and McDonald’s raising pay in a move they hope will bring new workers.
According to a Department of Labor stat in a CNBC story, the leisure and hospitality sector, combined, brought 292,000 new jobs in May, but that left the level far below pre-pandemic levels – by about 2.5 million jobs.
With the announcement by Chipotle in May that pay would reach $15 an hour this month, company execs were transparent about the plan to pass the cost on to the customer.
“It feels like the right thing, at the right time, and it feels like the industry is now going to have to either do something similar or play some kind of catch-up,” CFO Jack Hartung said at the virtual conference. “Otherwise, you’ll just lose the staffing gain.”
The supply-chain challenges are among the many dominoes falling, and it’s creating price crunches around the world.
The resulting higher costs of ingredients industry-wide also helped to trigger the price hikes.
“We really prefer not to take pricing,” company CEO Brian R. Niccol said at the Baird Global Consumer, Technology & Services Conference.
“But it made sense in this scenario to invest in our employees and get these restaurants staffed and make sure that we have the pipeline of people to support our growth.”