The privately held Baton Rouge, La. Company has 750 employees, including 500 in its Dallas office. Of these, 250 will be frontline employees in the field. Another 250 who work as marketers and trainers will move to restaurants and recruiting jobs.
Employees are accommodated in hotels for one to two weeks at company expense. Other employees in the company will be working to recruit more employees or to work in one of the company’s more than 500 drive-throughs.
“It’s all on deck,” said Co-CEO and COO AJ Kumaran.
Most of the company’s employees have already trained to become chefs or cashiers, the company said.
Kumaran said he saw the effects of the labor shortage in mid-September when applications online suddenly fell.
“Pretty soon we had to start stopping operating hours, we had to cut some of our channels like mobile ordering and dining rooms,” said Kumaran.
Cane’s plans to hire 10,000 more employees in 50 days.
Kumaran also said that Cane’s will invest $ 70 million in workers’ wages, with hourly workers receiving 15-22% wage increases over the next few weeks.
“These are obviously unprecedented times, there is no manual on how to get through this,” said Kumaran.
71% of restaurants are now understaffed while struggling with delivery bottlenecks. Almost every restaurant surveyed – 95% – said they had experienced delivery delays or bottlenecks for important food or beverages in the past three months.
Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association, said, “The recovery of our nation’s restaurants is officially going in reverse.”
CNN’s Anneken Tappe and Vanessa Yurkevich contributed to this report.