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Bon Appétit Management Company is looking for chefs, dishwashers, and a salaried employee to fill recent vacancies at Hillsdale College.

Since January, “several” employees have left Bon Appétit to move onto other opportunities, General Manager Dave Apthorpe said. With a high volume of patrons during mealtimes, Bon Appétit is looking for some extra hands.

“We’ve certainly had some turnover,” Apthorpe said. “I know other accounts in our region have similar challenges. I’m not sure there are any internal and external factors pushing on that.”

In January, a salaried employee left Bon Appétit for another job, leaving a position vacant for someone who has experience in high-volume and independent restaurant service. Jobs opened for four dishwashers and chefs with experience, as well.

Apthorpe said he was unsure why the employees recently left the management company.

“College dining can be difficult to staff because of the summer layoff,” Apthorpe said.

The cafeteria serves customers from September to May, but there is not enough work for all its employees during the summer months.

Apthorpe also pointed to the improving economy as a possible reason some workers have left for new positions.

“As we see the economy adding more jobs, this is sort of an entry-level job for many people, so the pay is commensurate with that,” Apthorpe said.

During the winter months especially, illness tends to take people off work, Apthorpe added. He said having more employees helps cover for instances when people cannot come to work and keeps cafeteria-goers healthy.

Additionally, several current workers are in the midst of training for different positions as Bon Appétit looks to better manage its service, Dining Room Supervisor Stacey Rossen said.

“We want to a build a better staff and make better food,” Rossen said. “That’s our goal — to serve students quickly and have them come hungry and leave full.”

Several students told the Collegian that they have noticed long lines recently, especially at lunchtime.

“It’s kind of annoying,” freshman Elizabeth Laux said. “But I know they’re doing their best.”

Rossen said lunch on Monday and Wednesday is the dining hall’s busiest time. Between noon and 12:30 p.m., 500 patrons enter the cafeteria — half of the customers for that meal.

During this peak time, Bon Appétit has all hands on deck, including its salaried staffers.

Rossen and Apthorpe will assist with serving patrons at the station counters.

“My job is to supervise the dining room,” Rossen said. “It’s easier for us to help out than ask someone else and have two positions unfilled…I like helping; we try to show that we do care.”

Rossen added that Bon Appétit always is looking for student employees to help. In particular, she said, it would like a second student baker to make cookies one evening each week to serve at lunch the following day.

“Student employees are a huge help,” Rossen said. “They just step up, and they’re willing to provide a hand.”

Applications for all positions are available in the Bon Appétit kitchen and office down the hall from the College Bookstore in the Grewcock Student Union. The food service company also is advertising its open positions on career websites, including Indeed, and is looking into purchasing advertisements in the local newspapers.

Bon Appétit also requires applicants go through a background check.

Apthorpe said he does not know when Bon Appétit will have the new hires.

“We’ll fill them as soon as we find suitable candidates,” Apthorpe said.