Chipotle, the burrito chain whose rocketing growth has fast-food giants like McDonald's reeling, is not slowing down: it plans to hire 4,000 new staff in one go on Wednesday.
Built on a pitch of fresh, organic and locally sourced ingredients, the thriving US chain is making clear it is not ready to ease up on expansion plans.
It opened about 100 new restaurants in the first half of the year, taking the total to 1,850, and says it needs the new staff to keep up that pace of growth.
Each of its restaurants around the United States (it has only a handful outside the country) will interview up to 60 applicants between 8 am and 11 am on Wednesday, with the aim of adding another 4,000 employees to its 60,000-strong workforce.
"We are constantly looking for great people to join our team. Regardless of your background or experience, you can succeed at Chipotle if you have a passion for making the people around you better," said co-chief executive Monty Moran in a statement.
"Working here isn't just a job, but a career where employees learn how to make others better, run a successful business, master culinary skills, and most importantly, lead teams of top performers."
Company spokesman Chris Arnold said the response had been very strong. By midday Tuesday, more than 50,000 people had registered on the Chipotle website for interviews.
At around $10 an hour with health insurance, paid time off and sick leave, the entry-level jobs promise more than those offered by many other fast-food companies which have only recently pledged to increase their wages to that range.
The company also said that promotions were more common among its staff, with 95 percent of managers coming from restaurant staff rather than being hired from the outside.
Founded in 1993, Chipotle expanded quickly over the past 10 years in leading urban areas based on a Tex-Mex menu of burrito wraps and tacos that stresses organic, non-genetically-modified ingredients and meat from humanely raised livestock.
While its prices are higher than McDonald's or Burger King, it has eroded the market share of both in cities and suburbs, though it has not ventured out into more rural America where both, along with other giants like KFC and Wendy's, are omnipresent.
It has also started developing an Asian rice and noodles chain, ShopHouse, and is part-owner of the Pizzeria Locale chain in two western US cities.
For the first six months of this year, revenues rose 17 percent from a year earlier to $2.29 billion, and net profits at $163 million were up 11.5 percent.