Breakfast chain Dunkin’ said in a press release Monday that the franchise would hire around 25,000 new employees and launch a low-cost college education program for its employees.
The move comes as states across the U.S. begin to reopen their businesses and lift restrictions intended to contain the spread of coronavirus. The press release added that around 90% of Dunkin’ locations have reopened for business and that the company’s new plan was designed with the goal of “creating immediate jobs that offer long-term education benefits and key career skills.”
A new advertising campaign called “Dunkin’ Runs on You” was also created in order to attract new employees and began broadcasting this week.
Along with its hiring plan, Dunkin’ reportedly launched a new partnership with Southern New Hampshire University that provides its employees with the opportunity to enroll in a low-cost online education program. The program, which would allow participants to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, was touted as “an affordable, flexible and supportive pathway” for Dunkin’ employees seeking a college education.
Since the coronavirus outbreak emerged in the U.S. earlier this year, same-store sales at the company’s open locations dropped by 23% and its stock value fell by nearly $236 million, CNBC reported. The restaurant industry as a whole has been hit hard by the pandemic and lockdown measures, with more than 8 million people laid off between March and April alone, according to The Hill.
Restaurant owners have expressed concerns that extended lockdowns could prolong economic problems like layoffs and debt, especially for local restaurants not connected to a franchise. (RELATED: Luxury Virginia Restaurant Fills Seats With Mannequins To Obey Social-Distancing Orders)
Taco Bell is reportedly aiming to hire 30,000 people this summer. Fast-food chains are so far bouncing back from the pandemic faster than other groups in the industry, according to CNBC.
Dunkin’ Brands Chief Human Resources Officer Stephanie Lilak mentioned in the press release that the move would provide new opportunities for workers and communities following the economic impact of nationwide lockdowns. “Dunkin’ is committed to keeping America running and working,” she said.