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P.F. Chang’s still hiring amid low unemployment rate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) —  A new restaurant always prompts buzz in the city, and the national chain P.F. Chang’s is no exception.

Managers are trying to fill open positions before they open the doors to the public.
“We’re still looking for a total of 160 team members,” says P.F. Chang’s operating partner Obed Gonzalez.
That’s right, 160 employees for one restaurant at Glenbrook Mall.
Most positions are already filled, but Gonzalez admits the local economy hasn’t made the hiring process that easy.
“It was a challenge because you start to think Fort Wayne has a 2% unemployment rate. It’s 1.5 below the 3.9% nationally,” he says.
Some of the newly hired team members met off site Friday morning for some initial training.
While many of them have food service backgrounds and could work anywhere, they said they chose to work at this restaurant for a reason.
“It’s a new restaurant, you get to be the new smiling face of P.F. Chang’s. You get to open it, you get to be the public figure to get people to come and work, and for people of Fort Wayne to come in because it’s something different. It’s something new,” says server-in-training Emily Day.
“We get to see the building being built. We’re watching the artist do the painting on the mural outside of the restaurant. It’s exciting, and to be a part of that initial, we’re the first, the restaurant’s not open yet. We’ve got to train before we can even get to step inside. That’s exciting,” host-in-training Jay Johnson says.
Gonzalez says there’s no secret to attracting employees — just treat them right, and instill in them the company’s philosophy of celebrating life, family, and food,
“No compromising on our ingredients and the core values that we believe in: being genuine, a cut above. I’m sure you heard before, being of service, being vibrant, and doing those kind of core principles, they sell themselves,” he says.
The executive chef says he was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the candidate pool.
“Honestly, the vast majority of applicants that I’ve spoken with have the vast majority of our core beliefs. So they embody that,” Nathaniel Cobb says.
P.F. Chang’s is scheduled to open Monday, October 22.
If you are looking for a job, the restaurant still needs to fill about 30 positions.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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