A district manager for Wendy's restaurants is under fire after bashing the employees at its Wareham, Massachusetts, location and the town for not having a proper talent pool to choose from.
The comments from district manager Keith Edward Helger recently came to light when customer Matthew Rose posted an email exchange Monday on the Wareham Hub Facebook page after making a service complaint at the Wareham Wendy's location.
Helger responded for the service Rose received by saying, in part, "Not an excuse but the town of Wareham has little to no talent pool to hire from. This is an ongoing issue in that area.
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"We are constantly interviewing and hiring any and all qualified candidates. Unfortunately those candidates are hard to come by, as most are recovering addicts, and we cannot hire them," he continued.
"You're kidding," Rose said. "I read it twice, I'm like, 'This can't be real.'"
Officials from the Wendy's corporate office said in a statement they are working to address the email.
"These comments are inconsistent with our Company's values and do not reflect Wendy's hiring practices. We work hard to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in our restaurants, and will address this appropriately," read the statement.
Rose wants Wendy's to go a step further.
"I think they need to address it a little bit better than that. I think they actually need to show some compassion for the communities that they're serving."
"Frankly, I'm shocked and disappointed that a respected company like Wendy's would openly disparage an entire community like Keith Helger did with his woefully shortsighted comments about people who support his business as dedicated employees and customers," Town Administrator Derek Sullivan said in a statement. "No community, including Wareham, has been spared from the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic. But to single out and demean Wareham and the hard-working people in recovery from the disease of addiction is about as tasteless as it gets."