Our January Spotlight! is shining brightly on a new partnership with a fast-growing, international restaurant chain, “FCR”, which was initially established with the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program—operated by KRA for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services—and has expanded already to three more KRA/TANF programs. Credited with putting the “fast-casual” style restaurant on the industry map 20+ years ago, FCR operates 1,725 restaurants (2020 projection = 3,000) in the US and four other countries.
FCR selected KRA as its primary employment resource as a result of a relationship initiated by Shunbrika Johnson, Job Developer, who reported, “In the Baltimore area, FCR enjoys a great reputation as a wonderful place to work, priding themselves on providing real opportunities for advancement, in a fun and exciting work environment.”
Reportedly, casual-dining restaurants average 44% turnover annually, costing billions of human resources dollars, with most of the turnover among “general population” workers with little or no pre-employment preparation, coaching, or support.
Johnson continued, “That is one of the advantages of partnering with KRA! Through targeted Job Fairs, we can provide FCR with effective, no-fee recruitment and screening of qualified candidates with a genuine interest in the Food and Customer Service Industries, as well as post-placement follow-up services.”
The first Fair yielded 22 candidates that were offered second interviews, with 17 hired! Viewed as a resounding success, FCR requested bi-weekly Fairs, for 4 months, to assist in staffing restaurants quickly in surrounding locales, including BWI—where FCR had experienced difficulty through internal resources—with five of the 17 hires placed at the airport.
Prior to the second Fair, KRA/Baltimore created an innovative “FCR Boot Camp”, facilitated by Johnson and Yvette Clark, Business Services Manager, for candidates to participate in pre-interview activities, and to learn about job openings and advancement opportunities. Clark reported, “Boot Camp has definitely increased customers’ second-interview and hiring success. One Boot Camp graduate was hired, and then promoted to management within 30 days of employment!”
To date, Job Fairs have yielded 46 second interviews and 30 hires, a 65% placement-success rate with which FCR is pleased—so much so, that the area GM proposed that KRA also be the primary staffing resource for FCR restaurants in Prince George’s County, MD; Camden, NJ; and Washington, which has effectively paired Boot Camp training with its ServeSafe food-handling program, adding even more value to new FCR hires in the DC metropolitan area.