Does Dunkin’s recruitment drive signal a summer of recovery in the US fast foodservice sector? Jacquetta Picton reports
Dunkin’ launched its first ever nationwide recruitment drive in the US this week with the tagline ‘Dunkin’ Runs on You’ – a play on its familiar slogan ‘America runs on Dunkin’’. The coffee and donut chain is advertising 25,000 jobs across its franchised outlets.
This is a glimmer of hope as the unemployment rate in the US hit 13.3% in May – although in the foodservice sector the unemployment rate is nearer 32%.
“This shows our beleaguered economy and psyches that we can look forward to a better day,” says Karen Malody FCSI, of Culinary Solutions in Portland, Oregon. “It supports their franchisees who have been hit hard by the pandemic and need as much help as possible from their corporate headquarters.”
The announcement also boosted the company’s share price by an estimated 3.5%. As William Bender FCSI, of SSA in San Jose, California says: “They are saying to all – Wall Street, company leaders, company franchises, the company team and their investors – ‘we are in business and have careers for all to be part of our brands, growth and success’.”
However, Malody notes: “Concern has been expressed by some with regards to this Dunkin’ push, stating that breakfast focused chains will be slower to recover than most.”
A commitment to diversity and inclusion
The advertising campaign outlines the advantages of working for the Dunkin’ chain, including access to low-cost college courses, developing core skills and the foundation for professional growth, flexible work schedules, competitive pay, and more. Importantly, the chain committed to diversity hiring and inclusion.
Even in times of high unemployment the chain recognizes that it must attract the best talent to work in its outlets. “With this size and scale they must be constantly creating (recreating) the company brand culture that will attract and retain their talent at all levels of the company,” says Bender. “Like every restaurant and competing foodservice and retail brand, they are competing for talent.”
Dunkin’ also noted in a statement that it has instituted a number of health and safety measures aimed at preventing employees and customers from becoming infected with the coronavirus. It was keen to emphasize that hiring more people would not compromise the safety of employees. Some of hygiene measures includes training, distributing single-use gloves, face masks, plexiglass shields for each restaurant’s front counter, and restaurant employee health checks using infrared thermometers. These measures have enabled about 90% of its outlets to keep up and running during the Covid-19 pandemic measures.
The campaign is launched at a time when fast-food recruitment traditionally kicks off to attract college students and teenagers looking to earn money during school holidays. Summer is also a time when people are out and about more and spend more money.
It remains to be seen how remaining health concerns and enduring caution after the Covid-19 shutdowns will affect sales in this sector over the next few months.