(Bloomberg) -- Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will require corporate staff to be on-site four days a week, becoming yet another large company to tighten return-to-office rules.
Chief Executive Officer Brian Niccol announced the change in late May, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Newport Beach, California-based company had required corporate workers to go in three days a week since March. A Chipotle spokesperson declined to comment on the updated policy.
Chipotle’s move follows similar ones at BlackRock Inc., which told employees to be in at least four days a week beginning in September, and AT&T Inc., which said managers need to show up in person at least three days a week starting this summer. Corporate chiefs including International Business Machines Corp.’s Arvind Krishna have said promotions will be harder to come by for those who aren’t in the office.
Yet leaders who push too hard in what’s still a tight labor market risk losing talented employees who crave the flexibility to which they’ve become accustomed. Just 4% of companies with hybrid-work arrangements insist that workers come into an office four days a week, according to a recent survey from Scoop, which helps companies coordinate hybrid teams.
Chipotle also is rearranging its corporate ranks, adding positions in areas such as data and analytics while cutting other jobs. This has resulted in the net elimination of 25 roles, though the reorganization didn’t affect restaurant field operations posts. The company closed its three corporate offices on May 23 to notify employees who were losing their jobs.
In an email seen by Bloomberg, Niccol told staff that the company is chasing “aggressive objectives in a world and economy that’s changed significantly since the start of our transformational journey just over five years ago.” That’s when Chipotle hired Niccol from Yum! Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell and initiated a restructuring that included moving its headquarters to the West Coast from Denver. The shares have gained more than 500% since he took over amid consistent sales growth.
Among other changes, Niccol told employees about a new group to manage digital channels, including Chipotle Rewards, third-party delivery and analytics.
He also said Tawanda Starms, vice president of people experience and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, is leaving the company. Chief Legal Officer Roger Theodoredis will take on some of her duties.
Chipotle’s first-quarter results surpassed analysts’ estimates on the back of higher prices and lower avocado costs. Shares rose less than 1% in New York trading on Monday, bringing their advance this year to 49%. The S&P 500 Restaurants Index is up about 10% since January.
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