Some companies are hiring up to 300,000 workers as demands for food and delivery services surge

By Morgan Raum
March 24, 2020 11:00 AM
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic and its rapid spread across the country, health officials and governments have recommended that people stay inside when possible and have even shut down restaurants, bars, and “non-essential” retailers and stores in some cities to slow the rate of infection.

Many in the hospitality industry have transitioned to delivery and take-out models in order to stay in business and continue to pay workers, while others are unable to implement these changes effectively and have been forced to lay off thousands of employees, at least temporarily.

At the same time, some businesses are seeing more sales than ever. Experts say that there is no need to panic shop for those who remain in good health, but shoppers have continued to stock up on water and food as they prepare to follow CDC recommendations, and it’s yielded “unprecedented” sales increases at bulk goods stores and food distribution companies like Trader Joe’s, Instacart, and Kroger, to name a few.

Restaurant chains like Domino’s and Papa John’s — which already heavily relied on delivery — are also seeing more business as millions who started social distancing and staying home are ordering delivery now more than ever.

As a result, many of these companies are ramping up hiring and looking for up to 300,000 additional full-time and part-time workers to keep up and meet rising demands. Check out the list of those hiring below.

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7-Eleven

The convenience retailer announced last week that they expect to hire as many as 20,000 new store employees to assist with increased demand for products and boost job opportunities. The store employee position will most likely work to fulfill mobile orders on the 7NOW delivery app, which has recently received a surplus of orders. Applicants who are interested in applying should inquire at their local 7-Eleven or fill out an application online.

“7-Eleven is a neighborhood store and it’s our priority to serve the communities in which we operate during this unprecedented crisis,” the company’s President and CEO Joe DePinto said in a statement. The new employees can expect “to be hired in the coming months,” he added, and will additionally help to “ensure 7-Eleven stores remain clean and in-stock with the goods our customers need during this critical time.”

Albertson’s

Supermarkets are categorized as “critical infrastructure” by the Federal Government during the coronavirus crisis, and many of them like Albertson’s are hiring thousands of positions to meet increased demand. The grocery store and parent company of Safeway is immediately hiring 30,000 new associates across its companies to respond appropriately to the pandemic. They understand, however, that many of those hired may return to previous jobs once restaurants and stores are able to re-open. Interested candidates can apply here.

“The most valuable asset and the core of any business is people, and we are working hard with many Human Resource teams across a variety of businesses who are actively defining next steps for their employees,” said President and CEO Vivek Sankaran in a statement. “So many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors are scaling back hours or temporarily closing as their customers remain home and adhere to shelter-in-place orders. We are grateful to be a resource to help fill a critical need in our own business and take care of people who want to continue working during this time of national emergency.”

Amazon

The company is hiring 100,000 full-time and part-time employees for their delivery network and fulfillment centers in order to meet a significant surge in online orders. The company will also invest over $350 million globally to increase the minimum wage $2, up to $17 from $15 per hour. The wage increase will last at least through April, and those looking to apply can do so here.

“We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis. We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back,” the company said in a statement.

CVS

The convenience store chain is looking to immediately hire 50,000 full-time part-time, and temporary roles in store, warehouse, delivery, and customer service capacities across the United States. The company plans to use a technology-enabled hiring process that includes virtual job fairs, interviews, and job tryouts. Interested candidates can apply here.

“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” said CVS Health CEO Larry J. Merlo said in a statement. “As they continue to be there for the individuals and families we serve, we’re taking extra steps to provide some peace of mind and help them navigate these uncertain times.”

Dollar General

The variety store chain is hiring for a “number of full and part-time positions” in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in order to remain open and in-stock for all customers. The store has full-time and part-time roles available across the United States in stores, distribution centers, and their private fleet network. Those interested in apply can do so here.

“With approximately 75 percent of the American population within five miles of a Dollar General, we feel a responsibility to remain open and in-stock for all of our customers, many of whom live in areas that are not served by other retailers,” the company said in a statement. “Our ability to operate as normally as possible under these circumstances is critical to many customers in our communities and is why we currently plan to continue operating our 16,200+ stores across the country to fulfill our customers’ needs.”

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Dollar Tree

The discount variety chain is hiring 25,000 employees at its Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores and distribution centers nationwide. Open roles include full-time and part-time positions, as well as “flexible part-time shifts” for cashiers and stockers. Interested candidates for Dollar Tree can apply here. Those interested in Family Dollar can apply here.

“Whether you are home unexpectedly or are just starting your career, we have a broad range of positions to fit your needs and availability,” said Dollar Tree’s Chief Human Resources Officer Betty Click in a statement.

Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Domino’s

The pizza chain is looking to hire 10,000 additional full-time and part-time workers to keep up with and meet rising demands across the United States. In a statement to PEOPLE, a representative for Domino’s said that while their stores are regularly looking to hire new team members, they hope to highlight those opportunities now especially. Open positions include delivery drivers, pizza makers, and assistant managers. “Every store is going to have its own unique needs,” a representative for the company said. Those interested in applying can do so here.

“Domino’s is committed to serving local communities and providing hot pizza to everyone who is looking for a meal,” CEO Richard Allison said in a statement. “Because of that, staffing is critical and stores across the nation are looking to hire. We want to make sure we’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those who are looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry.”

Instacart

The on-demand grocery start-up is seeking to hire 300,000 “full-service shoppers” — who will be treated as independent contractors — over the next three months in order to meet surging delivery demands. According to the company, their order volume has increased by 150% in the last week alone. The additional employees would double the company’s workforce, and hiring will be prioritized in states experiencing the most demand, including California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. Interested candidates can apply here.

“The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart’s history and our teams are working around the clock to reliably and safely serve all members of our community,” said Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta in a statement.

Kroger

The retail company and supermarket chain is hiring more than 10,000 employees across the United States at its stores, factories, and distribution centers. Positions include retail clerks, night crew members, and more. Interested candidates can apply here.

“We have relationships with several different other industries where they’re directing their people to us. We have a ton of openings,” said Kroger’s CEO, Rodney McMullen, in a statement to CNBC’s Closing Bell.

Papa John’s

The restaurant chain is making the most of the increased demand for delivery during this time and ramping up hiring. They’re looking to hire 20,000 restaurant team members, including customer service representatives, cashiers, pizza chefs, drivers, assistant managers, and manager-level positions. They’re also expediting the hiring process by directing people to apply online or begin via text message (by texting JOBS to 47272). Interviews will usually occur the same day, and potential employees may begin work only hours later.

“For anyone looking for immediate ways to earn an income, we’re making it quick and simple to apply, interview and be hired at Papa John’s,” said Papa John’s Chief People and Diversity Officer Marvin Boakye in a press statement. “We want to add talented team members to our Papa John’s family across the country to deliver food safely to our customers’ doorsteps. We are in the unique position — as a restaurant that specializes in delivery and carryout — to help our communities through this crisis.

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PepsiCo

The multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation plans to hire 6,000 full-time, full-benefit employees nationwide in the coming months to keep up with increased demand as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States. Interested candidates can apply here.

“With COVID-19 reshaping the way we run our business and live our lives, it’s important that we acknowledge the people keeping us steady during turbulent times, notably the heroic work of the millions of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals around the world,” PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a statement.

Pizza Hut

The pizza company is hiring for more than 30,000 permanent positions across the nation, as well as expediting the onboarding process to get new drivers on the road within five hours in order to meet increased demands for delivery amid coronavirus concerns. Positions available include cooks, shift leaders, restaurant managers, virtual call center agents, and drivers. Those who are interested can apply here.

“Given the increased demand we’re seeing for delivery, we’re hiring new team members to help us feed America,” said President of Pizza Hut U.S. Kevin Hochman in a statement. “Whether through contactless delivery, curbside pickup, or carryout, we’re here to serve oven-hot pizza however customers want to get it.  Based on families eating more together, we’re also seeing big demand for our new Big Dipper Pizza that is nearly 2 feet of pizza and has over 24 slices, so we’ll be extending the availability of that product, too.”

Walgreens

The pharmacy store chain is hiring for 9,5000 positions across its U.S. stores to accommodate significantly higher demands on stores during this time. They’re looking to fill customer service associate, pharmacy technician, and shift lead positions especially, as well as other roles. Interested candidates can apply here.

“As Walgreens continues to assess its needs related to the coronavirus situation, it will look to begin filling additional temporary customer service associate positions starting next week to help bolster in-store staffing,” the company wrote in a statement. “Some of these temporary positions might potentially lead to full-time job placement.”

Walmart

The retail chain is planning to hire 150,000 hourly associates in order to meet increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Positions include those at stores, clubs, distribution facilities, and fulfillment centers. While they will be temporary at first, many will convert to permanent roles over time. Those interested can apply here.

“We know millions of Americans who are usually employed at this time are temporarily out of work, and at the same time we’re currently seeing strong demand in our stores,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. “We’re looking for people who see Walmart as a chance to earn some extra money and perform a vital service to their community.”

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDCWHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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