At last week's meeting of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, I was seated next to a gentleman who is the owner of several high-end fast food places in my town and Spokane, WA. In partnership with his son, they have introduced a popular, successful restaurant to the area.
I brought up the fact that many of my friends have gotten out of the fast food business due to problems with the work force, which primarily consists of teenagers. I found his responses interesting and asked many follow-up questions.
He first of all made it quite clear that one of the things he liked most about this new venture was the interaction with the staff, and suggested that the secret to a good staff was the manner in which they were interviewed and hired. When asked what the first thing was they looked for in a new hire, the answer was; "A home-schooled kid." They found them to be more responsible, personable, respectful, and well, better educated.
I followed up with my usual, "Are they as socialized as public school kids?" He answered that he finds them better socialized for the very reason that they're not locked up every day with their peers forming some sort of a "closed shop" with little influence from adults.
Next was over-all personality and appearance. His restaurants do not allow more than two piercings - one in each ear, no cussing, and if they have a tattoo on their arm, they'd best plan on wearing long sleeves all summer. They are required to obtain a drug test at their expense ($30.00) which is refunded after 60 days of employment. He said that weeds out many of the kids right in the beginning.
Most telling was his closing statement which I'll have to paraphrase. He said they wanted to create an atmosphere where a "good" kid could work and not feel like an outsider.
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