Chipotle Is Trying to Lure Gen Z Workers With New Monetary Benefits — Will It Help Draw in Younger Employees?

Chipotle is hoping to attract more young workers by offering more benefits ahead of what the chain calls its “burrito season.”

The restaurant hopes to hire 19,000 new employees during its most profitable season, which lasts from March to May. The season tends to be so profitable due to “seasonal factors like weather and daylight,” per a Chipotle spokesperson quoted by WSJ.

But instead of offering fun perks like Summer Fridays and team parties, the chain is offering benefits that have monetary value in an attempt to bring in younger workers.

Related: Chipotle Mexican Grill Is Still A Tasty Investment

First, Chipotle announced that it would match up to 4% of a worker’s salary through 401(k) contributions if the worker is making student loan payments.

The unique perk will help encourage Gen Z employees to pay off their loans while also helping them save for retirement — a potential win-win for a generation already well on their way to caring about retirement, per a November 2023 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey in which 66% of Gen Zers revealed that they’d started saving for retirement already.

If the employee is paying at least 5% of their salary toward the student loan, Chipotle will match 4% into their 401(k),” Chipotle told Business Insider.

All employees who have worked for at least one year and 1,000 hours are eligible.

Chipotle also said that it would cover six free mental health sessions for employees who choose to opt in, as well as offering an “AI-Powered” credit card to help young employees with banking.

Related: Chipotle’s Robots Can Make Almost 200 Burrito Bowls an Hour

Though the chain has yet to report Q4 2023 earnings, Chipotle had a strong Q3 thanks to higher prices in restaurants helping offset the cost of food inflation, namely on beef and cheese.

“I think the Chipotle value, when we haven’t raised prices in over a year until this latest action, is coming through, and people are choosing to dine at Chipotle because we are very affordable,” said CFO Jack Hartung during the company’s earnings call at the time.

Chipotle was up over 46% in a one-year period as of Wednesday afternoon.

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