McDonald’s holding drive-up hiring events across state on Saturday

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald David Lim and crew wave shakas inside McDonald's on Kinoole Street in Hilo on Thursday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald David Lim stands in front of the McDonald's on Kinoole Street in Hilo on Thursday.

Now hiring.

In an effort to meet staffing demands and also expedite the interview process, McDonald’s of Hawaii will host its first-ever drive-up hiring event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at restaurants across the state, including Big Island locations in downtown Hilo, Puna Kai Shopping Center, Kona Commons, Kealakekua and Waimea.

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To serve the community responsibly, David Lim, who operates with his father all the McDonald’s restaurants on the Big Island, said the restaurants have COVID-19 protocols “we take very seriously.”

“That means additional work around our kitchen, our dining rooms and our restaurants in general, on top of the level of service the guests already expect from us,” he said. “So in terms of how (the pandemic) has affected our workforce, it’s called us into action into doing more, which we’re happy to do, but it does come at a business cost and a new way of operating our restaurants.”

Although staffing levels fluctuate, Lim said he’s proud that McDonald’s hasn’t let go of any employees throughout the pandemic.

“I think that is a testament to McDonald’s’ stability no matter where we are in a business cycle,” he said. “So we’re really proud of the fact that we continue to be a place where our employees can come to work safely.”

Lim said that during the drive-up hiring day, McDonald’s wants to encourage best safety practices. Hiring managers will be wearing face masks and applicants also are asked to wear masks.

“We hope that our practices are communicated to our community and are represented in the right ways, where people (who) are not working right now would be comfortable rejoining the workforce in a place they feel safe.”

Across the country, businesses are struggling to fill positions.

The Associated Press earlier this month said the speed of the country’s economic rebound, fueled by federal aid and rising vaccination rates, has created a disconnect between businesses and the unemployed.

According to the AP, while some are seeking better positions than they had prior to layoffs triggered by the pandemic, some lack affordable child care and others still worry about contracting the coronavirus or have retired early.

“And a temporary $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, on top of regular state jobless aid, has likely led many unemployed Americans to take time to consider their options,” the AP said.

“I think as things are opening up, and people are slowly getting a little bit back to normal ways of doing things, everybody else is in the situation where they’re hiring,” Lim said. “It’s a good time where we’re recruiting pretty heavily, at the same time everyone else is, too.”

Job-seekers can fill out an online application during the event or ahead of time by visiting mcdonalds.com/careers or texting “apply” to 36453.

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Lim didn’t have the number of employees currently employed by McDonald’s on Hawaii Island and didn’t specify how many the restaurant chain was hoping to hire, instead saying he’s “open to all and as many” as possible.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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