Memberou bowling alley hosts job fair

·3 min read

MEMBERTOU — Membertou Lanes held a job fair Thursday to fast-track the reopening of the bowling alley, which has been closed since mid-March.

The reopening was delayed because of major changes, and community members like Justin Gould are hoping to work again.

“I’ve been off work for a while since COVID, because I was laid off and I have just been looking for a job ever since,” said the 19-year-old.

“Once I heard of the job fair at Membertou Lanes, I thought it was a good opportunity for me.”

He was laid off from his job at the Membertou Youth Centre and was hoping to land a position as a lane technician or dishwasher at Membertou Lanes. Gould was hoping to land a job to pay some bills.

He said the safety measures at the job fair were organized and professional.

“They did a really good job here and I’m looking forward to them opening,” said Gould.

Job-seekers were required to wear a mask, sanitize upon entering the building and had to provide contact information and had their temperatures checked.

They were then seated in a socially distanced waiting room before meeting with one of five interviewers. The bowling alley was hiring customer service representatives, hosts, bartenders, servers, cooks, dishwashers, janitors and lane technicians.

Silas Baccouche was also laid off when the Membetou Youth Centre closed to the public. The 18-year-old hoped to hear good news.

“I just hope I get hired,” said Baccouche.

He said he hasn’t faced many hardships because of the layoffs but still wanted to work. Baccouche was hopeful all who attended could land employment.

Recently hired general manager Marcel Cote says he hopes to hire 25-30 people. And the public should expect a lot of changes to Membertou Lanes.

Membertou Lanes is adding a sports bar and more kid-friendly additions like a slushy machine and concessions. Cote said they’ll also be dropping the prices. The bowling alley at its launch will be reservation only to ensure proper spacing and contact tracing, they’ll also have dedicated cleaning staff for high touch areas, signage to ensure social distancing and hand sanitizer.

Cote spent 25 years in the food and beverage industry and hopes with a complete rebranding the business can flourish even under the COVID-19 restrictions. He believes people are still looking to have fun in these uncertain times, but they need to be reassured they’re safe. And Membertou Lanes is hoping to meet those needs.

“The challenge is we’re changing almost everything we did before,” said Cote.

He also added that the candlestick replacement parts company they were working with folded because of the pandemic, which only added to the delays.

Cote hopes to hire quickly to begin training soon.

“I need everyone to understand and be patient with us,” said Cote.

He said he hopes to reopen by December.

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Oscar Baker III, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cape Breton Post