A Dunkin’ worker hands a coffee out of a drive-thru window wearing gloves and a mask as the Coronavirus continues to spread on March 17, 2020 in Norwell, Massachusetts.
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The coffee chain is launching its first advertising campaign centered on hiring to tout the benefits of working at its restaurants. Dunkin’ also said Monday that it is partnering with Southern New Hampshire University to offer store employees an online college education.
The summer months typically spark fast-food hiring as consumers spend more and teenagers look for work. Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, for example, is looking to hire 30,000 new workers this summer.
But this year, the U.S. unemployment rate is 13.3%, according to the Department of Labor. Even as states relax social-distancing measures, millions of restaurant workers are out of work.
Fast-food chains are bouncing back from the pandemic faster than other segments in the restaurant industry. Dunkin’s own sales have been improving, although the shift to working from home means that many workers are still making coffee and breakfast at home as well.
As of May 23, same-store sales at open Dunkin’ locations had fallen 23% quarter-to-date. During the week ended May 23, same-store sales fell 15% at open restaurants, which represents a sequential improvement compared to same-store sales declines in late April. More than 90% of its locations are open with modified operations.
Dunkin’ share were trading up more than 5% in premarket trading after receiving an upgrade from KeyBanc Capital Markets. Analyst Eric Gonzalez wrote that the company “has executed well during the pandemic” and predicts that its same-store sales will improve relative to the fast-food category as states in the Northeast reopen.
The stock, which has a market value of $5.91 billion, has fallen 4% so far in 2020.