Restaurants in Jonesboro affected by new restaurants coming to town

By Maddison Smith
Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO – New restaurants provide employment opportunities for job seekers however, many current restaurant employees are bracing for a negative impact often caused when new businesses within the same industry come to town.

The new Texas Roadhouse will open Oct. 21. Managing partner Eric Moore said the staff at Texas Roadhouse are excited.

“There is a young group of managers at Texas Roadhouse and each one is eager to get their hands dirty and help make an impact on the community,” Moore said. Roadhouses are typically very busy. Based on the track record, some of the last Roadhouses that have been opened in Arkansas have been pretty big.”

O’Charley’s Kitchen Manager Josh Daniel said, “Everyone will take a hit for the first two or three weeks.” Daniel said O’Charley’s will make flexible schedules for their employees, as well as help them get into contact with other possible employers.

Chili’s Manager James Reynolds said, “We will slow down for a few weeks to a month but pick right back up to where we were.” Reynolds said Chili’s is also prepared to take these hits from the new restaurants by promoting their Togo, curbside pickup and dinner specials.

Daniel said, “Back of the house employees that have to have ‘x’ amount of money per week to survive, they are a little more dreading it more than anyone else because they know according to sales, we have to cut according to labor.”

Daniel said if O’Charley’s was not making enough sales, they will partner up with other companies to help their employees.

O’Charley’s bartender Yoshii Harris said, “It will be business as usual.” Harris said there will be a rush to the new restaurants, but O’Charley’s has established a good customer base, so it will not affect many servers. Reynolds said the servers at Chili’s will not be affected either.

Moore wants to give back to the community. Moore said, “We are here to help the community as much as possible and be a very active member in the community.” Moore said Texas Roadhouse staff are looking to talk to schools, hotels and other businesses to not only help promote the store but give back to the community.

Editor’s Note: Photos taken by Maddison Smith.