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Food service jobs increase in Arkansas

For the first time since March, the number of Arkansans with jobs increased in September.
For the first time since March, the number of Arkansans with jobs increased in September.

One Little Rock restaurant plans on doubling its payroll next month. Three years ago, the Keet family opened the first Taziki's on Cantrell, a fast-casual restaurant, which was a relatively new concept for Little Rock.

Now, they need to hire a new staff for the new location on Chenal Parkway.

"We've seen our business, you know, grow every year exponentially, so it's very good for us," says Tommy Keet.

So good, Keet plans on opening Little Rock's second Taziki's November 15.

"The fast casual segment in all restaurant business right now, is moving up because people want to be able to enjoy their food, but also be able to afford it. So, when we first opened it was such a new concept, it was rough," says Keet.

Since Taziki's opened three years ago, Arkansas has added 15-hundred food service jobs. Numbers dipped as the economy suffered, but since last September, Arkansas restaurants have hired 23-hundred new employees according to the Department of Workforce Services.

And, they're about to add more next month. The restaurant owners are banking on booming business at the Chenal location, and instead of the restaurant just taking up one suite, it will fill two.

Plus, managers now know what to expect and can train new hires before the new location opens.

Keet's dad, a veteran of the restaurant business, gave him this advice.

"He said the first one is hard, the second one is twice as hard, and it's true. I thought the first one was hard, but it's difficult because you're managing a restaurant and trying to manage an opening of a restaurant," says Keet.

Keet is looking for people to work both the front and back of the house. He says he can train anyone. A good attitude is more important than experience. If you're interested in applying, go to the Cantrell restaurant from 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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