Columbus Chick-fil-A finding new ways to adjust to pandemic’s worker shortage

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Monday, the Chick-fil-A in Columbus held a hiring event to fill their various openings for both part-time and full-time employees.

“One thing I would say that COVID has really brought has been a resilience to our team,” says store owner-operator Brittany Cofield. “The ability to dig deep when you don’t quite have enough employees. Productivity has looked a little bit different for us.”

At the Columbus location, those differences include closing one hour earlier, at 9 p.m. and pressing pause on the curbside service option.

“We do have mobile ordering, we’d love to turn on curbside (again),” says J.T. Dacus, the director of sales and brand growth. “Right now, we’re looking to hire about 25 to 30 people, so possibly we could do that.”

To get the word out, they gave away 1,500 flyers inside their customers’ orders. The flyers included the benefits offered to Chick-fil-A employees, as well as the time and date for the restaurant’s hiring event on Monday.

“When we visited around town, lots of people had noticed and asked us about it,” Dacus says.

“People have been like, ‘Hey, I realize you’re looking for staff. I have a daughter. I have a teenager. I have someone actually who’s looking for a job right now,'” Cofield says. “So it’s been pretty cool to hear that.”

Cofield says openings range from entry-level team members, to shift leaders and supervisors, all the way up to a catering coordinator and food safety leader.

“We definitely have full-time hours available for those who are looking for it,” she says. “We also offer part-time and the hours really vary. Opening, closing, mid-shift.”

Cofield says that while having to constantly adapt can be stressful, she also says it can be exciting and is just the nature of the business.

“We’ve had special delivery trucks to make sure you guys get waffle fries,” she says. “There’s been so much that goes on behind the scenes and I definitely think that it’s a challenge, but it’s one that we’re up for.”

Chick-fil-A’s management says that based on this event’s success, they could hold another one in the coming months.

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