Thursday, July 25, 2024

How is Bojangles responding to staffing shortages? By closing for two days, giving employees an unpaid break

The Bojangles at 520 S. College Rd. will be one of nine that close across southeastern North Carolina for two days, as the company shutters Aug. 30 and Sept. 15 to give overworked employees a break among staffing shortages. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — North Carolina-based fast-food chain Bojangles announced in a release Friday that it would close 277 of its company-owned restaurants on two upcoming Mondays — Aug. 30 and Sept. 15 — as it continues to deal with staffing shortages across multiple states.

The move will affect nine Bojangles in the Cape Fear region.

The fried-chicken eatery’s CEO, Jose Armario, said the time off is an “investment in its most important asset”: employees who have taken on extra work during trying times.

“We appreciate everything our dedicated team has done for Bojangles this past year,” Armario said in a release. “From navigating a global pandemic to adjusting to new safety measures to picking up shifts for those unable to come in for work, we’ve asked, and they’ve delivered.”

The move will affect 8,000 employees overall. According to the Associated Press, Bojangles will not be paying for the time off. Yet, the company states it’s keeping the health and well-being of its workers top-of-mind and “will roll out additional benefits soon to further support” them.

“We hope these extra two days off will provide rest and refreshment,” Armario said in the release.

Port City Daily reached out to communications officer Stacey McCray about how many employees it affects locally. The article will be updated if and when she responds.

McCray told Port City Daily two weeks ago, “The labor shortage is an industry-wide issue we’re all working through right now.”

The Monkey Junction location on Carolina Beach Road had its employees walk out Aug. 13. McCray said the location had temporarily closed that morning because of challenges it faced with properly staffing the operation.

“The restaurant reopened a few hours later,” she said.

RELATED: ‘Bo Time,’ no time, go time: Monkey Junction Bojangles staff walks out, temporarily shutters store

At 2 p.m. that Friday, when Port City Daily was on site, the 5513 Carolina Beach Rd. location remained shuttered and no one came to the door; no one answered phone calls into the evening as well. The restaurant did resume normal operations the following Saturday.

Currently, Bojangles has over 50 job openings within a 50 mile radius of Wilmington. The Monkey Junction location is hiring a general manager ($47,500-$58,500) and assistant general manager ($36,000 to $41,500), as well as shift managers ($12-$15) and team members (pay not listed).

McCray confirmed in response to the hiring issues, the company was working on pilot initiatives that could attract and keep employees, with possible bonuses and referral programs. In Charlotte, the Observer reported Bojangles did a test-run for new hires with $500 bonuses to be paid out at 30 days with $100, 90 days with $150, and 180 days with $250. McCray didn’t confirm if the company would proceed with the program in southeastern North Carolina.

The upcoming store closures on Aug. 30 and Sept. 13 affect locations in six southern states, from Kentucky to Florida. Local stores include:

520 S. College Rd.
5513 Carolina Beach Rd.
7155 Market St.
2409 Carolina Beach Rd.
4505 Market St.

1341 N. Lake Park Blvd.

5160 Southport Supply Rd.

109 Village Rd.

22913 US Hwy 17

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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