FRISCO, Texas — Life behind the counter at Raising Cane’s moves pretty quickly.
It’s even faster when there’s not enough staff to fill a shift.
“In restaurants where we need 50 or 55 crew, we have about 30,” said Lindsey Harmon, an area leader for Raising Cane’s in the Dallas area.
She typically needs 10-17 employees per shift to be fully staffed.
“All the way around, I think the crew we have— they’re tired, but everybody is kind of working together,” she said.
Canes, like many other businesses in the country, has been affected by a shortage of labor.
The U.S. quitrate, which is the rate at which people are ready to quit their job, has been on the rise since August 2020. It reached a new high of almost 4.3million in August 2021.
Employers are finding it difficult to find new employees due to this shortage.
“Increasing wages, they’re doing that, they’re giving signing bonuses, giving bonuses for employees if you stay on for a certain length of time,” said Mac Clouse, a finance professor at the University of Denver.
He says this isn’t something that will turn around in the next few months.
“I think we probably got another year before we start seeing some ease in some of the problems that we have,” Clouse said.
Raising Canes has much to do over the next year. So they’re trying something different.
“We have about a hundred restaurants to open over the next six months,” said AJ Kumaran, the Co-CEO and COO of Raising Cane’s.
“At this stage, we need all hands on deck,” he added.
Kumaran is adamant that he needs all hands.
“There are many corporate office crew members right now back there. Some are cooking chicken, although I don’t like them cooking chicken, you know it slows down a little bit, and some are helping recruiting,” Kumaran said.
Accountants, communication managers, recruiters, all members of Raising Cane’s corporate offices are picking up shifts in restaurants nearby.
“It’s not the lunch crowd, so I’m a little nervous but hopefully I’ll do okay,” said Heather Teroy.
Teroy is responsible for corporate recruitment at the chicken company. She’s now getting to know the kitchen.
“I absolutely love it. It helps me get out of the monotony of my work day and it gives me the opportunity to spend time with an amazing crew. So much fun,” she said.
“Having RSO here helping has been amazing because you can just feel the weight and their shoulders. My shoulders, the manager’s shoulders, so it’s been great that everyone has done their part to support,” said Harmon.
Clouse doesn’t seem surprised that Cane’s uses its resources in this way.
He said that he believed there might be many other people doing the same thing to keep their eyes open. “We’re seeing lots of creative things, and some of that, there are firms asking management to take on additional roles.”
It doesn’t hurt that every member of the company, including the corporate team, is trained as a fry cook and a cashier when they’re hired.
“We’re a 40,000 crew member company, 750 corporate office crew members is not going to move the needle much, but it’s the thought that counts, it’s the idea that everyone steps in, it boosts the culture and that’s what we’re working on right now,” said Kumaran.
The company will be hiring 10,000 new employees in just 50 days. They hope this will help relieve some of their employees’ pressure.