While most restaurants are limiting operations and trimming staff during the coronavirus panic, America's biggest pizza chains want to hire more than 60,000 more workers to keep pace with the rise in delivery and takeout demand.
Pizza Hut said Monday that it has 30,000 open positions to fill, including cooks, managers and shift leaders, and Papa John's said it is looking to hire 20,000 restaurant team members, including customer service representatives, cashiers, pizza chefs, drivers, assistant managers and manager-level positions. Last week, Domino's said it needs to hire about 10,000 full-time and part-time workers to meet the demand for pizza delivery as America turns to buying more takeout food for home consumption during the coronavirus pandemic.
"For anyone looking for immediate ways to earn an income, we're making it quick and simple to apply, interview and be hired at Papa John's," said Marvin Boakye, Papa John's chief people and diversity officer, said in a statement. "We are in the unique position – as a restaurant that specializes in delivery and carryout – to help our communities through this crisis."
Pizza Hut and its franchisees say there are 30,000 open jobs available for delivery drivers, cooks, shift leaders, restaurant managers and virtual call center agents. Pizza Hut, which is part of the Yum Brands Inc., is speeding its training process, with the goal of getting drivers trained and on the road in five hours, to help meet a surge in demand as consumers shift from restaurants to delivered food.
Pizza Hut also said it as put a number of policies in place, like contactless delivery, where consumers pay in advance and the delivery person puts the pizza on the doorstep or entrance to the building without any contact with the buyer.
Domino's said demands for more workers varies across its 6,100 U.S. locations. Domino's stores and franchise locations in the U.S. employ about 120,000 people.
"Domino's is committed to serving local communities and providing hot pizza to everyone who is looking for a meal," the company said in a statement about its increased hiring. "Because of that, staffing is critical and stores across the nation are looking to hire. We want to make sure we're not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those who are looking for work at this time."
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in a half century last fall and remained at a seasonally adjusted 3.5% in January ahead of the spread of the coronavirus. But the jobless rate is expected to spike as many of the 13 million restaurant industry jobs are cut due to government restrictions and fewer people going out and millions of other jobs tied to closed schools, stores and offices are also lost.