Checkers corporate officials answer Southwest Chicago Post follow-up questions. Scroll down to the bottom of this page.
By Tim Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
Earlier this year, a Checkers corporate spokesman told me that when it comes to staffing their hamburger restaurants, they are committed to hiring locally and that the company wants the staff to be a reflection of the community it serves.
So it sounded like
we could expect to see people from Garfield Ridge and Clearing well represented among the crew they'd be hiring to flip burgers, drop fries and make shakes at their new restaurant at Archer and Narragansett, right?
In response to a question I asked a few days ago, a Checkers representative informed me that just two of the 59 employees at Archer and Narragansett are from the 60638 ZIP code.
Who are the others?
Well, mostly ZIP codes from the South Side.
Nine employees from 60628 (Roseland), seven from 60637 (Woodlawn), six from 60619 (Chatham), five from Englewood (60636), five from South Shore (60617), and so forth. In fact, here's the exact breakdown:
Perhaps if your definition of "local" is "anywhere at all in Chicago," then Checkers hired locally.
But that's not my definition, and I'll bet it's not yours.
And as best I can see, they made no effort to recruit from Garfield Ridge or Clearing. I saw no outreach to the local press, local civic organizations and clubs. Nothing other than a sign at their construction site.
And it's not like there's no unemployment or underemployment here on the Southwest Side. There's plenty, thanks to this ongoing, sluggish economic recovery.
So it looks like Garfield Ridge has yet another fast-food joint, not locally owned, not locally operated, and which--for the most part--does not hire local men, women and teens.
Some in the community are saying hey, there's no law requiring them to hire locally, and at least we have something at that site, right? Better than a vacant eyesore, right?
Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the site is now a business that is paying taxes and employing people--even if they live nowhere around here.
No, in the sense that Checkers is competing against local restaurants that are locally owned, locally operated and which hire local men, women and teens.
What Checkers ought to do is reconsider their actions and, moving forward, commit to hiring employees from the immediate neighborhood, as vacancies arise in the future.
Until then, I'll spend my fast-food dollar at the local independents.
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Update on November 5:
Here are answers from Checkers corporate officials to a few follow-up questions posed:
- Is the staff working at the Archer/Narragansett location temporary, like a team that specifically opens units, or is this the staff specifically designated for Archer/Narragansett? No, they are hired for the location. However, the training restaurant was in a different zip code so a lot of the employees hired lived closer to that restaurant. They are seeing an increase in applicants from this zip code and are excited about reviewing them.
- I was surprised to see only two of 59 staff from the immediate area (60638). How many 60638 residents applied for jobs there? Unfortunately, I don’t have that data available today. We are working with our ATS (Applicant System) vendor so we can get this information in the future.
- Other than the sign at the construction site, which encouraged people to apply, did Checkers conduct any activities in the immediate area, like hiring fairs, outreach to specific organizations? Back in June, we sent a letter to the Principal at John F Kennedy High School advising him of employment opportunities at Checkers and directing interested applicants to our website, www.work4checkers.com . Checkers also will reach out to the local unemployment agencies for support. For this location, there were sufficient applications generated through our ATS system so a job fair was not required.
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I haven't been there yet, so many cons vs . pros since opening, not sure if I want to wait in a long line to be disappointed. However, now after reading this, not sure if I will.ReplyDelete
Couldn't Agree more! I will not be buying from there! Thank you for the article.ReplyDelete
Is there a list of how many people applied from 60638 and the other zip codes? And maybe they needed to take experience into consideration when hiring?ReplyDelete
What a JOKE!! I would rather have had an empty lot. The domino affect to our LOCAL business owners IS HUGE. Do not support this restaurant.ReplyDelete
You are correct, Don't support this restaurant.Delete
I understand, but how many Garfield Ridge & Clearing residents applied? We all knew what was going there for months... just saying...ReplyDelete
If I am hungry and decide to get a sandwich when I'm near that corner, I'll walk an extra few steps to Midway Sub and support a local business that has been with us a long time.ReplyDelete
This is a perfect example of "be careful what you wish for" when bringing new restaurants to Archer ave. A corporation cares nothing about hiring from the neighborhood it....and if it isn't profitable, will move in a heartbeat and leave an abandoned building again.
No surprise when you see where the other Checkers restaurants are located in the Chicago and surrounding areas.ReplyDelete
Went there on opening day just to try it since I had never tried their food. Place was already dirty, food was cold and bland. Save your money or go somewhere else. Not worth the wait and costReplyDelete
Were these employees newly hired to work at this location or were they existing employees brought in from other stores for the opening?ReplyDelete
I'll stick with Nicky's.ReplyDelete
It was also an out of town general contractor running the construction work. The sub contractor performing the metal framing hired illegals to do the work. No local skilled tradesmen or women from the area were on this job. IF you ask me its a lose lose situation with checkers coming into our area. The Alderman was on board with this project let's give him a big thanks.ReplyDelete
Yes! All you people will go away and the line will get shorter, god bless for ignorance!ReplyDelete
Some employees are very rude, heard some calling each other "Nigga" in front of customers and the people running the fast food window got my order wrong and told me to go through the horrendous line to get my sand which they forgot.ReplyDelete
Whether the author or any of the commentators above want to admit this or not, this article is blatantly dripping with racism. Fact is that a new business opened and people are making a living. Who cares what neighborhood the employees are from? Who cares about the color of their skin? I only care that the employees are friendly and doing their jobs correctly. Further, the author neglected to discuss the statistical fact that white workers are less likely to accept minimum wage, menial jobs. Btw this article isn't journalism, this is a statement editorial piece that is poorly written.ReplyDelete
Tell me, there is a Whole Foods opening in Englewood next year. What do you think would happen if all the hires for that store were from Garfield Ridge? Would you be OK with that?Delete
You need to learn what racism is. When you toss it around like you do, all you do is make people tune out.
They're not that good, have them in Florida. Some have closed.ReplyDelete
Great point, will not patronize that Joint...ReplyDelete
Can't believe they built another fast food joint in the Garfield Ridge area. More crap to offer to residents-what they should have done is build a Mariano's or Whole Foods. Ya know, something that offers REAL FOOD.ReplyDelete
I will definitely continue to make my purchases from the local eateries.ReplyDelete
My son,his friends and myself have all applied, not one of us has received a phone call back or email. I personally hope that this paticular location closes. I will never eat there. They can have there grease pit burgers, they are disgusting anywaysReplyDelete
Well my son applied and I know other kids that applied..dam shame that no one in the neighborhood got called.ReplyDelete
They did the same thing in Oak Lawn on 95th street. They are gone now.ReplyDelete
Checkers, McDonalds, Wendy's and all local places have their own flavor and offer different things. Hiring locally isn't a deal breaker for me if it was I wouldn't be traveling 30+ mile one way to work everyday. For me its all about what I have a taste for at that given moment. I'm happy to see a business there vs the empty lot that was there. The eye sore across the street is just that... an eye sore.ReplyDelete
How many people from that ZIP applied? Maybe the other hires are qualified or seem more competent. What taxes would be applicable ONLY to 60638?? Sounds like a mountain out of a molehill...ReplyDelete
We have put the "How many from 60638 applied?" question to Checkers. We await their reply.Delete
If this had happened in other communities, people would have been outside protesting as they opened. (Not trying to start anything)ReplyDelete
Can't blame anyone for not wanting to work there----What a horrible looking building. I hope when they go out of business, they take the monster with them!!!!ReplyDelete
Since they called it John F Kennedy and they didn't acknowledge the amount of kids that go to other than CPS in town, I can safely assume that these answered are spoon fed PR drivelReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this information. I will definetly not be going there.ReplyDelete
Personally. . .I can't wait for the long lines to die down because I LOVEd them when they were around in the 90's and can't wait to have a Checkers Burger & Fries with a Strawberry Milkshake & Apple nuggets. AND YES, I LIVE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.ReplyDelete
This is racism at its finest an all white community in an uproar because blacks got job. I drive by this site everyday. Prior to its opening there was a now hiring sign posted for 2 months. I applied and I didn't do well on the assessment test therefore I wasn't selected. These spoiled rich Caucasian kids don't have to work so they didn't apply because mommy and daddy haven't taught them work ethic. Fortunately my parent's did. If it was 50 Caucasian kids working and no blacks we wouldn't be having this discussion. Racisms ugly face still exists. My question is how many 60638 applicants applied and were denied? What was the basis of the denial. Did they interview? I have spoken to the District Manager about this matter alerting him of this group's horrible intentions. I have his business info if you want to reach out to him directly. Let's get the truth before we spread untruths and get sued for slander.ReplyDelete
racism my ass if they work on the xpressway on the south side so many positions have to be minority but its like quota systems in college its ok when it works for the minorities but its racist if it works for whitesDelete
bought a bacon cheese burger on nov.2 and could not believe the bacon was uncooked except for the very ends.paid $4 plus for a raw bacon,bland tasting burger.would rather go to white castle for some flavor at a third of the price.oh yea when you pay for fries you should get the fries and not have to get back in line to get them.ReplyDelete
My brother applied. Lives 10 minutes away from that specific location. He has worked for the restaurant industry for over 10 years AND has past experience working for the old Checkers chain. He has heard nothing from them.ReplyDelete
I do not believe this has anything to do with racism at all! If it is, it is racism against whites! When a restaurant comes to a neighborhood one would expect to see neighborhood kids working there. It is totally unacceptable to see ALL African American employees in an establishment in a predominantly white neighborhood. I have nothing against African Americans at all, in fact I have many who are good friends. And nothing against the employees who work there now, but I would have like to have seen more neighborhood kids working there. Furthermore, I did some research and found Checkers is a predominantly African American establishment mostly in African American neighborhoods.ReplyDelete
Also to be fair I will admit I tried it the other day. Totally SUCKED. The service was subpar and I did not even get the burger I ordered, totally wrong. It was cold and flavorless! Will not be going there again !
Alderman Zawlewski should be part of the blame for allowing this fast food restuarant to go up in the Garifled Ridge neighborhood. He should have made it clear to hire the kids in the neighborhood first.ReplyDelete