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As the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on businesses and restaurants across the United States, some brands like Chipotle are stepping up to help impacted workers.
The chain announced it will give a 10 percent pay increase to hourly employees working between March 16 and April 12. Like many other eateries, Chipotle has shifted to takeout or delivery-only in an effort to encourage social distance and flatten the curve of the virus's spread.
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“This assistance pay is simply one of the ways that we’re expressing our appreciation for those who are willing and able to continue working during this time,” Brian Niccol, the brand’s CEO, said an email sent to the chain’s customers.
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In addition to the pay bump, the chain has updated its emergency benefits to assist those affected by COVID-19. McDonald's is another brand that’s rolled out something similar.
Other restaurants and businesses are giving employees a boost amid the outbreak, too, including Albertsons, Kroger and Walmart, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Starbucks offered a $3-an-hour bump for workers effective March 21 through April 19.
Amazon also announced initiatives to help employees. The company plans to pay workers at its U.S. fulfillment centers an extra $2 per hour through April and expects to spend $350 million in wage bumps in the United States, Europe and Canada.
Bacardi promised $3 million in financial aid and support to struggling food and drink businesses. Restaurant mogul Danny Meyer is foregoing his entire compensation and donating it to the Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns a collection of eateries in New York. And a local pizza shop owner in New Jersey borrowed $50,000 to help his staff.
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Early estimates suggest at least a million U.S. workers could have lost their jobs in March because of the shutdown. The Labor Department reported the number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits jumped to 281,000 for the week ending March 14.