Goodwill offering assistance to displaced Macaroni Grill employees

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Augusta, GA (WJBF) – An Augusta restaurant was destroyed after it caught fire early Monday morning.

Firefighters say the fire started at Macaroni Grill just before 1:30 a.m. and burned for more than 7 hours.

Once the rood collapsed, the situation was made more difficult for firefighters to control the blaze. Many of the walls had to be bulldozed to uncover the fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

There were believed to be around 50 Macaroni Grill employees, but Goodwill is offering help to other job opportunities for them.

Early Monday afternoon, a Goodwill representative reached out and said they have lots of local opportunities in the hospitality industry.

“Imagine, you wake up in the morning and your whole business is gone,” said Barry Paschal, from Goodwill Industries of the CSRA.

That’s what happened to the employees of the Macaroni Grill, which is off Robert C. Daniel Parkway. Firefighters started battling the flames around 1:30 a.m. early Monday morning.

It took nearly 12 hours and 3-4 shift changes until most of the hot spots were put out.

Paschal shared his first reaction to news of the fire. “It’s pretty unusual to see a whole place go out of business, that quickly. I mean, we haven’t seen a lot of restaurant fires and that sort of thing and usually the employees will have a little more warning if a place is going out of business. In this case, it’s a mass displacement at one time of a lot of employees who are going to need help finding employment.”

Paschal says Goodwill’s Job Connection is offering help. We have a lot of openings for hospitality staff here at Edgar’s Grill, in the Snelling Center, which are a part of Goodwill. But, we also have a lot of agencies that we hire on behalf of and they have a lot of openings, right now, as well.”

Paschal says those openings include the Augusta Marriott, Augusta Ritz-Carlton, Augusta National Golf Club, and Chick-Fil-A…to name a few.

“They can come to our Job Connection and get resume assistance. They can get assistance with searching for jobs and, in addition to that, we have a Goodwill staffing service,” said Paschal.

There also is a Job Fair on Wednesday, March 2nd and Thursday, March 10th at the Snelling Center from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. As for the investigation, it’s still ongoing and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The job fair will be at their Job Connection building at 3179 Washington Road. Human resources and hospitality staff will be on site for immediate interviews.

Displaced Macaroni Grill employees can call Goodwill Human Resources Generalist Kerri King at 706-650-5760, email kking@goodwillworks.org.

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