BEAUMONT, Texas — One of ten recently closed Church's Chicken locations in Southeast Texas reopened Wednesday as the company seeks workers to help reopen the others.
Dozens of the company's restaurants in Southeast Texas and in the Houston area were recently shut down after the former franchisee failed to meet company standards, the company acknowledged last week.
The Church's Chicken carry-out location at 3095 Calder Ave was frying up chicken and baking biscuits by mid-morning on Wednesday as "now hiring" flags fluttered in the breeze outside.
Last Friday 10 of the 14 Southeast Texas locations were closed, including five of six in Beaumont.
"We are working very hard to re-open all temporarily closed Church’s locations as quickly as possible to restore jobs and further improve our guests’ experience," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company is encouraging all those who were formerly employed as well as anyone else to apply for positions at its Southeast Texas and Houston area restaurants according to the statement.
The company is offering signing bonuses for "certain positions at select locations" according to its Wednesday statement.
On Tuesday the company held a job fair at the Church's Chicken on Dowlen Rd at Phelan Blvd.
A member of the Best Bites group on Facebook posted a photo showing what appeared to be employees getting ready for the job fair just after 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"Church's Chicken is committed to ensuring the highest food quality and safety standards are consistently maintained at all of our restaurant locations," the representative said in an emailed statement on Friday.
"One of our franchisees recently failed to meet those standards and bring its operations into compliance, which resulted in the temporary closure of more than one of the locations it operated."
The franchisee that ran the Beaumont locations is Best American Hospitality, or BAH.
A spokesperson for the office of the Texas Comptroller told 12News on Friday that BAH owes more than $180,000 for at least four years of Texas franchise tax. The company did previously pay off some back sales taxes it owed but still owes $8,700 in penalties for the late sales taxes he said.
The spokesperson made it clear that the Texas Comptroller did not order the restaurants to be shut down.
A check of Jefferson County Appraisal District data for the Beaumont locations that are closed shows the exact same owner address as can be found for BAH.
12News asked the Church's Chicken spokesman about the franchise tax issue but was told, "we cannot comment on the former franchisee’s tax issues with the State of Texas."
Here are the other locations that are still open according to the Church's Chicken website...
- Beaumont at 3095 Calder Ave
- Beaumont at 7525 Highway 105
- Bridge City at 1805 Texas Ave
- Lumberton at 795 S Main St
- Pinehurst at 32346 State Hwy 249
Here are the Southeast Texas locations listed as closed...
- Beaumont at 229 Dowlen
- Beaumont at 2780 Washington Blvd.
- Beaumont at 2999 Magnolia St
- Beaumont at 615 Washington Blvd.
- Nederland at 930 Nederland Ave
- Port Arthur at 1849 Jefferson Drive
- Port Arthur at 2000 Gulfway Drive (may have been closed since Harvey)
- Orange at 1322 N. 16Th Street
- Jasper at 849 S. Wheeler St
Full Wednesday statement from Church's Chicken...
We are working very hard to re-open all temporarily closed Church’s locations as quickly as possible to restore jobs and further improve our guests’ experience.
We invite and encourage Church’s team members who were formerly employed at these locations and other individuals to apply for positions at all Beaumont and Houston area Church’s restaurants.
Church’s is offering signing bonuses for certain positions at select locations. Employment information can be found at Churchs.com/Careers