Operators Look to Retail to Place Out-of-Work Employees

Amazon needs to hire more workers to keep up with surge in orders
Amazon needs to hire more workers to keep up with surge in orders. Image: Associated Press

Opportunities are opening up for out-of-work food and beverage employees at a rapid rate as retailers look to staff up fast.

Many operators are trying to pitch in to help: hotel chains Marriott and Hilton launched new programs to get their furloughed workers some of the temporary jobs available in food, health care and retail.

Three of the largest pizza chains have already sent out the call. Pizza Hut is recruiting more than 30,000 employees across the nation and says its new drivers can start working in as little as five hours upon hiring. 

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Papa John's is another of the three major pizza chains looking to take advantage of all the restaurant closings. The company announced plans to hire 20,000 new team members.

Domino's plans to hire 10,000 employees to work as pizza makers, delivery personnel, and customer service representatives, plus supply chain center workers and managers.

Meanwhile, retail businesses have been putting out the call for new employees, in many cases giving precedence to out-of-work food service workers.

Walmart, the nation's largest grocery store chain, is looking to beef up its own supply chain. The company plans to hire 150,000 workers for full-time, part-time and temporary positions at its distribution and fulfillment centers. The company is expediting the hiring process as well: applicants can get hired and begin working in as little as 24 hours, according to Walmart's website.

Instacart is looking to hire 300,000 workers to meet surging demand for grocery deliveries. The on-demand grocer said it wants to hire the full-service shoppers in North America over the next three months as independent contractors. 

Amazon has seen an unanticipated boom in business and plans to hire 100,000 nationwide for full-time and part-time roles in their delivery network and at fulfillment centers.

Drug store chain CVS said it's looking to fill 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary positions nationwide, including store associates, drivers, distribution center employees, and customer service professionals. The company plans to hire many of the employees from some of its business clients, including Hilton and Marriott. 

Dollar General is looking to add up to 50,000 employees to its workforce by the end of April. The company said it anticipates most of its new roles will be temporary, but it also expects some of the new employees will receive long-term career growth opportunities.

Albertsons, the parent company of grocers Albertsons, Safeway, Randalls, United Supermarkets and several other food and drug chains, wants to hire 30,000 new employees including drivers, personal shoppers, distribution center and call center workers in the 34 states where they operate.

7-Eleven, the nation's largest convenience store chain, expects to hire up to 20,000 new store employees to meet increased demand. Some of the new roles are for delivery workers to help the company meet a spike in mobile orders received through its delivery app.

Local partnerships are blossoming as well. Sedano’s, a South Florida grocery chain with about three dozen locations, has agreed to hire as many as 400 workers of Valls Group, which operates more than 10 restaurants in the Miami area.

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