Grocers Reach out to Hire Displaced Hospitality Workers

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Amazon, Albertsons and Walmart are looking to displaced hospitality employees to fill 280,000 positions.

Grocers Reach out to Hire Displaced Hospitality Workers

By Anna Wolfe - 03/24/2020

From coast to coast, restaurants, hotels and casinos have been forced to close or scale back operations, furlough employees or reduce hours due to the COVID-19 crisis. While consumers are sheltering in place, the demand for groceries is surging, leaving supermarkets and grocery delivery services scrambling to catch up. As a result, many supermarkets, including online retailers of groceries, are turning to the hospitality industry to fill hundreds of thousands of positions. 

In a statement posted on Instagram and Amazon’s blog,  CEO Jeff Bezos announced the company will be hiring 100,000 new employees and urged laid-off restaurant workers to apply.

“We’re hiring for 100,000 new roles and raising wages for our hourly workers who are fulfilling orders and delivering to customers during this period of stress and turmoil,” Bezos stated. “At the same time, other businesses like restaurants and bars are being forced to shut their doors. We hope people who’ve been laid off will come work with us until they’re able to go back to the jobs they had.”

Boise, Idaho-based supermarket chain Albertsons Companies is also reaching out to displaced hospitality workers and is partnering with major companies to provide part-time jobs to employees who have been furloughed or had their hours cut.

“The most valuable asset and the core of any business is people, and we are working hard with many human resource teams across a variety of businesses who are actively defining next steps for their employees,” said President and CEO Vivek Sankaran. “So many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors are scaling back hours or temporarily closing as their customers remain home and adhere to shelter-in-place orders. We are grateful to be a resource to help fill a critical need in our own business and take care of people who want to continue working during this time of national emergency.”

Walmart, which is seeking to fill 150,000 full-time, part-time and temporary positions through the end of May, said it has reached out to restaurant and hospitality trade groups  “to facilitate temporary roles that can be a bridge for their employees during this difficult time.”

Supermarket companies are considered “critical infrastructure” according to the Federal Government and are required to operate during the crisis.

Albertsons said it understands that most people will return to their previous jobs when the crisis is over, and the company and partner employers are fully supportive of the other’s efforts to keep people working.

Currently, Albertsons has secured partnerships with 17 companies, some of which include: BJ’s Restaurants,  G6 Hospitality, Hilton, Inspire Brands,  Marriott International and MGM Resorts.

Albertsons has established dedicated application sites for employees from participating companies. The partner companies will provide links when they notify their employees about the opportunity for part-time employment with Albertsons.

Grocery delivery service Instacart announced plans to more than double its workforce. It plans to hire 300,000 full-service shoppers over the next three months to meet the growing customer demand for grocery delivery and pickup in North America, reports Progressive Grocer.