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Amid labor shortage, Raising Cane’s is asking corporate staff to work in restaurants

Amid labor shortage, Raising Cane’s is asking corporate staff to work in restaurants
Posted at 2:30 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 12:33:55-04

Raising Cane’s has come up with a creative approach to keeping its restaurants running during the ongoing labor shortage. The fast food chain, which has more than 500 locations and employs 40,000 workers nationwide, believes the solution starts at the top.

Beginning this week, 50% of the chain’s corporate team will begin assisting short-staffed restaurants. Raising Cane’s, which is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told Business Insider that 200 employees from its Dallas corporate office, including senior vice presidents, and 250 members of its “field team,” including marketing and training staff, are heading out to restaurants.

Raising Cane’s CEO Todd Graves shared photos of himself with the staff of one restaurant on Twitter.

“You know the saying, ‘it takes a village’? Well at @raisingcanes, it takes a Crew,” Graves tweeted. “It takes an entire Crew to run The perfect Shift, build The Perfect Box and support What We Do- Providing Craveable Chicken Fingers for you!”

Every new Raising Cane’s corporate employee starts at a store with restaurant training, and every team member’s job title includes “fry cook and cashier.”

“The first thing we teach new hires at Cane’s is that we are all Fry Cooks and Cashiers, and this week, we are proving that,” co-CEO and COO AJ Kumaran said in a statement. “It’s no secret that today’s hiring market is a challenge, and ahead of our massive growth next year, having the support we need is critical. We are all in this together, and when our restaurants need us, we’re there.”

Although some economists blamed ample unemployment compensation for the current labor shortage, the states that discontinued extra funding haven’t experienced a rebound in hiring, either.

Rather, experts report that the causes are complex and include stagnant wages, substandard working conditions and a lack of work-life balance and scheduling flexibility. The pandemic prompted millions of older adults to retire early as well.

However, no matter the reason, the labor shortage has driven many employers to explore new methods of filling these roles. This is especially true in the retail and restaurant industries, where retail giants such as Amazon have increased starting pay and McDonald’s franchises have offered cash to anyone who comes in for an interview.

Recruitment is part of the plan at Raising Cane’s as well, as the company looks to reach 50,000 employees in 50 days. Starting pay rates are not listed in job descriptions on the company’s website, but Glassdoor and Indeed report that wages of restaurant employees begin at about $10 an hour. Benefits for full-time employees include health care, paid time off, employee discounts and tuition assistance.

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