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Taco Bell plans to hire 5,000 people in a single day on April 21

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Taco Bell plans to hire at least 5,000 workers in a single day later this month when the Mexican-inspired food chain temporarily converts restaurant parking lots into job fairs. 

On-the-spot interviews will take place at nearly 2,000 company and franchise-owned locations across the U.S. on April 21, the company announced Tuesday. The annual hiring event is being done differently for a second year in a row due to the ongoing corona pandemic. 

With an eye toward curbing the spread of COVID-19, Taco Bell hiring managers will hold the employment interviews outside in parking lots, patios and designated drive-up stations where job hunters won't need to leave their cars. All participants will have to stay six feet apart and wear a face mask.

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"It's no secret that the labor market is tight, which is why we are thrilled to host our fourth round of hiring parties in partnership with our franchisees," Kelly McCulloch, Taco Bell's chief people officer, said in a statement announcing the hiring spree.

Expanded benefits for corporate employees include up to four weeks of vacation a year for general managers at its company-owned stores, according to Taco Bell. Its benefits for general managers at company-owned stores also include four weeks of paid time off for new parents and guardians and an additional eight weeks of paid disability for women after the birth of a child, it added.

Taco Bell is looking to hire cashiers, general managers and "bellhops" to support drive-thru service with tablet ordering. 

Taco Bell offers a starting wage of $9.10 an hour at corporate-owned restaurants, and nearly 20% of workers at corporate-owned Taco Bell restaurants made more than $13 an hour at the end of 2020, a spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch.

Owned by Yum Brands, which also operates the Pizza Hut and KFC brands, Irvine, California-based Taco Bell and its 350 franchise organizations run more than 7,000 restaurants in the U.S. About 475 of Taco Bell's U.S. restaurants are company-owned. 

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