McDonald’s said Thursday that it would hire 260,000 workers in the United States this summer.
The announcement follows similar hiring plans from Subway, Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, Panda Express and Dunkin. However, McDonald’s plans are nearly double all four of those chains’ combined summer hiring plans. The Chicago-based chain is one of the largest private employers in the country.
The summer months typically spark fast-food hiring as consumers spend more and teenagers look for work, but the hiring announcements this year arrive as the coronavirus pandemic has led millions of restaurant workers to lose their jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate is 13.3%, according to the Department of Labor.
McDonald’s and its franchisees have come under fire during the coronavirus pandemic for low wages and worker safety at its restaurants. Workers at McDonald’s locations in Chicago are suing the company, claiming that it failed to protect them adequately from Covid-19. The company noted in the hiring press release that it has implemented nearly 50 new safety procedures to protect employees and customers.
McDonald’s is slowly reopening dining rooms across the country. As of Monday, about 1,000 of its 14,000 U.S. locations allow customers to sit at a table. The company is also gradually adding back items that it struck from the menu in April to speed up operations.