Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) began online ordering and pickup in 2018 and the growth has been strong. Digital sales grew 81% in the first quarter of 2020, and now the company says it's getting ready to open its 100th "Chipotlane," for drive-thru digital order pickup.

The digital business requires more staff than the traditional restaurant, and the company said it would seek to hire 10,000 more workers over the next few months. Positions to be filled include hourly and salaried management positions, as well as staff jobs. Chipotle said of the 19 new restaurants opened during the first quarter of 2020, 11 contained a Chipotlane, which are now present in 32 states. 

A bowl of fresh Mexican-inspired food.

Image source: Getty Images.

Chief restaurant officer Scott Boatwright explained that digital orders require a dedicated team and kitchen staff, requiring more workers. 

The staffing campaign to support digital sales began in May, and the company has already hired approximately 8,000 new team members. Chipotle said it has received about 700,000 applications nationwide since the beginning of the year. 

The company said it believes positions are in high demand due to its culture and "people-first mentality." Chipotle ranks No. 1 among quick service restaurants for COVID-19 safety measures, according to global market research firm Ipsos' Consumer Health & Safety Index. 

Chief people officer Marissa Andrada said the company stresses building a better world through its people, not just its food. "Today's purpose-driven culture has created an expectation from people who are looking to work for companies that align with their values," she said in the company's announcement. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.