Instead of laying off workers during store’s construction, Chris Spires, Chick-fil-A Plainfield owner, is paying employees to volunteer with local organizations. Mykal McEldowney, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Plainfield Chick-fil-A has served up plenty of chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets and milkshakes during its 16¬†years in business. ¬†
Now, owner Chris Spires¬†wants to serve the community and his 100 employees in a different way.
When the fast-food¬†restaurant on Plainfield’s Main Street¬†temporarily closes for renovations in September, Spires is going to continue to pay his employees ‚ÄĒ “team members” ‚ÄĒ to volunteer¬†at various community organizations during the remodeling.
The restaurant will close Sept.¬†29 and¬†Spires said renovations will hopefully finish by Nov.¬†8.
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Giving back to the community and customers¬†who¬†support¬†and eat¬†at the Chick-fil-A is a natural thing to do, Spires said.
“We can make chicken.¬†We can work hard,” Spires said. “But if we don’t have people¬†who support us, we can’t survive.”
Team members¬†will serve at non-profit organizations throughout the Plainfield area, Spires said, but no workers are¬†required to sign up to volunteer.¬†¬†
Spires said several sites and organizations have already been identified as places to serve, including:
Spires is still looking for other area organizations for his team members to serve. He said suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.
All employees will have the chance to sign up to volunteer after receiving a list of places needing help, Spires said. The goal is to have employees altogether reach¬†5,000 hours of community service¬†during the restaurant’s closure.
“Just as they would clock in at our store, they’re going to clock in at those non-profits,” Spires said. “The intention is that everyone who counts on this job as a way to provide for their family will be able to continue to do that while we’re closed.”
The overhaul of the Chick-fil-A restaurant will completely redesign the interior and exterior and nearly double¬†the kitchen’s¬†capacity, Spires said.
The restaurant will also add outdoor patio seating, and two drive-thru ordering lanes will help serve more customers. Large canopies will cover the drive-thru ordering and pickup areas to protect customers and servers from nasty weather, Spires said.
Initial reactions from the community and employees to the community service plan have¬†been positive, Spires said.
Spires posted on the Plainfield Chick-fil-A¬†Facebook page last week,¬†announcing his plan and asking for suggestions on places needing volunteers. The post has received more than 700 likes and nearly 600 shares.
Stephanie Singh, the town of Plainfield’s¬†director of communications and marketing, said¬†the town¬†and¬†Chick-fil-A restaurant have enjoyed a solid relationship over the years, and Spires’ plan only strengthens it.
“We’re a community of values,” Singh said. “It’s so great to have a company and a business owner like that in our community.”
Spires said he is grateful for the community and his employees who are excited about the opportunity to serve.
“We’re blessed to have a lot of staff that are service-oriented,” he said. “I think it will be good for them, and they’ll enjoy it.”
Follow Billy Kobin on Twitter: @Billy_Kobin.
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