Employees of the destroyed Tuscaloosa restaurant served food to Red Cross clients
By: Latasha J. Lewis
When the April 27 storm went through Tuscaloosa, Ala., it destroyed many businesses. Because of this, many people lost their jobs and had to relocate to provide for their families. Some businesses sent their employees to work in other cities, but not Schlotzsky’s, a sandwich deli that was located on 15th Street, right in the path of the EF4 tornado.
George Schaefer, vice president of Restaurant Operations, came up with the idea of paying Schlotzsky’s employees to volunteer with the disaster relief effort. This way the Schlotzsky’s company could help its employees and the city of Tuscaloosa at the same time.
Angela Bowles, the general manager at Schlotzsky’s, took on the responsibility of organizing work schedules for the employees and finding places for the employees to volunteer.
“Anywhere we are needed, we will go,” said Bowles. “If anyone needs us, just let us know!”
On June 9, Bowles led her employees to the Belk Activity Center, a Red Cross shelter for tornado victims, where they assisted the Red Cross by serving lunch to tornado victims and other volunteers. The Schlotzsky’s employees jumped right in expecting nothing more than an adrenalin rush and a speck of normality.
“This was the first time since the storm that we felt like we were at work [Schlotzsky's],” said Bowles. “It was just like being in the restaurant.”
Before helping the Red Cross at the Belk Center, Schlotzsky’s employees volunteered with Temporary Emergency Services by sorting donated goods. The Schlotzsky’s employees appreciate the opportunities they have been given and take pride in saying that they work for such a compassionate company.
Since the storm, a typical day of a Schlotzsky’s employee starts around 9 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. The work force is made up of 15 Schlotzsky’s employees ranging in age from 19 to 46. The employees are paid the same salary they were given while working at Schlotzsky’s for the hours they volunteer.
Thanks to Schlotzsky’s for helping the Red Cross and the people of Tuscaloosa!