A “Now Hiring” sign in the window of a Subway restaurant in Sarasota, Fla.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Subway announced Thursday that its North American franchisees would hire 50,000 workers as the restaurant industry looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The privately held sandwich chain joins Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, Dunkin’ and Panda Express in publicly announcing plans to hire tens of thousands of workers. 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.

Subway, which is the largest U.S. restaurant chain by number of locations, said that new positions range from entry-level to management.

On Tuesday, the company announced that it was bringing back its promotion for a $5 footlong, an offer that was popular with customers but not so popular with franchisees. Restaurant Business Online reported that several franchisees have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees franchising. They allege that the deal for two foot-long sandwiches for $10 is unprofitable. 

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