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Raising Cane’s Puts Corporate Staff to Work in Restaurants Amid Labor Shortage

Roughly half of the QSR chicken chain’s corporate staff will lend a hand as fry cooks and cashiers starting this week.

Amid an ongoing labor shortage that has plagued the restaurant industry ever since restaurant workers were laid off in droves during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, 500-plus-unit QSR chicken chain Raising Cane’s is trying out a new stopgap solution to keep its restaurants operating at full capacity. 

Starting this week, Raising Cane’s is sending roughly half of its corporate staff to work in its restaurants as fry cooks and cashiers. The corporate staff will also lend a hand in hiring new store-level employees.

The brand is aiming to hire 10,000 new workers within the next 50 days, Bloomberg reported.

Raising Cane’s is not the first QSR brand to get creative in its response to the worker shortage. Last spring, McDonald’s made headlines by offering employee candidates $50 just to interview, whether they were hired or not. While that measure undoubtedly attracted a bevy of applicants, many decried the move as a backhanded attempt at forcing unemployed workers into low-paying jobs, accusing the franchise giant of reporting applicants who ultimately turned down the job to local unemployment offices, thus ending their benefits. 

Over the summer, right-leaning pundits and Republican lawmakers grew increasingly vocal in their call to end heightened unemployment benefits initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming that those benefits were discouraging unemployed workers from returning to the labor pool. Many economists, however, have taken the opposing viewpoint, arguing that reducing that aid may make it even more difficult for unemployed workers to find jobs.