Other Pizza Parlors Step in to Help
By Mina Corpuz
FITCHBURG -- fter the abrupt close of Fitchburg’s Papa Gino’s restaurants and nearly100 others across New England over the weekend, several pizza restaurants are encouraging workers out of a job to join their staff.
“It’s sad to see a place go, but we’re willing to help out,” said Jamie Roy, owner of Super Fans Deli and Pizzeria on Main Street in Fitchburg. “If there’s someone who can do the job, we will consider them.”
Super Fans is looking to hire up to four staff members to work part-time as pizza makers, cashiers, and drivers. Roy posted about hiring on Facebook Monday through the site’s job board and the community group Discussing Fitchburg Now.
About 150 Papa Gino’s were listed online before the weekend and by Sunday 97 locations remained. Restaurants that closed include the Fitchburg location.
“I’m sure whoever has worked there is going to need a job because the holidays are coming up,” he said. “We’re looking for some workers. It’s good for the both of us.”
Super Fans currently has about a dozen staff members, Roy said.
In Leominster, C&M Pizza on Central Street has open kitchen staff and drivers positions that displaced employees from Papa Gino’s can apply for.
“It’s hard to find help these days and I thought if I could help out while helping out my business at the same time it’s a win-win,” said owner Andrew Sears.
He would like to hire a driver and someone to close the restaurant. The restaurant currently has about seven drivers and dozen kitchen staff.
With turnover in the industry, having more employees would be helpful, Sears said.
Uno Pizzeria and Grille, which has a restaurant at Merriam Avenue in Leominster, wrote on its Facebook page that that anyone affected by the Papa Gino’s closure is welcome to reach out to the restaurant for employment opportunities.
“We are always sorry to see a local pizza restaurant close and see employees who find themselves out of a job abruptly,” said Skip Weldon, chief marketing officer for Uno’s corporate. “It’s hard to find a good pizza guy, and Papa Gino’s did have people who know how to make good pizzas.”
Papa Gino’s Holdings Company., the parent company of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, closed 95 under-performing restaurants around New England, according to a company news release.
“These were hard decisions but decisions we believe were absolutely necessary to allow Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches to continue serving New England now and for years to come,” Chief Financial Officer Corey Wendland said in a statement.
PGHC announced an agreement to sell the company to Wynnchurch Capital Monday.
A hundred Papa Gino’s and 78 D’Angelo restaurants will remain open, the company said. Papa Gino’s in Leominster is open and so are D’Angelos in Fitchburg and Leominster.
PGHC hopes to move some team members from closed restaurants to ones that are operating.
As part of the sale, PGHC also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, which will allow the company to maintain business operations, according to the release.
Selling the company to Wynnchurch will allow PGHC to remodel and modernize its 141 restaurants in New England, the release says.
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