The owner of an East Longmeadow restaurant is stepping up, offering to hire qualified staff who lost their jobs when three local Bertucci's restaurants abruptly closed this week.
As Western Mass News reported Monday, Bertucci's shut down their locations in Amherst, West Springfield, and Longmeadow just hours after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The move surprised dozens of staff members who are now out of work - possibly, not for long.
Center Square grill owner Bill Collins said he feels for the Bertucci's employees who lost their jobs.
"For me, I have a vested interest in making sure people go back to work. I've got a business to run, I want the economy to stay strong," Collins explained.
Collins told Western Mass News that when he got word Monday about the abrupt closure of Bertucci's, "Immediately, I did reach out via Facebook to Bertucci's staff because there's some great kids out there."
Collins said that Center Square Grill needs good employees and former Bertucci's employees need good jobs.
It's a win-win.
"We do grow grow our staff by about 25 members during springtime and summer and so any way that we can help we wanted to make sure we extended the olive branch to try and help out," Collins said.
Bertucci's is just the latest restaurant to close. In business since 1935, the iconic Hofbrauhaus in West Springfield shut down April 1.
Collins said that it's a tough industry in today's day and age.
"We're constantly doing seasonal menus. We're changing with the times. We're doing our research because if we're not staying fresh. somebody else is, so you really have to stay sharp out there today," Collins noted.
For those former Bertucci's employees, Collins encourages other restaurant owners to lend a hand as well.
"I'd say to any restauranteur, especially with the casino opening at some point, get every good staff member on your team that you can today," Collins said.
Collins was referring to MGM Springfield's vow to hire 3,000 employees before their September opening. He said that he could use at least a dozen or more new staff - right now.
Former Bertucci's employees interested in applying for a job at Center Square Grill are encouraged to reach out on their website under the 'Careers' tab.
Fill out the information and Collins said to be sure to mention where you last worked.
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