But New York-based company Apple-Metro, which owns several Applebee’s franchises and two Pizza Studios, is trying to change that. The company has found huge success in helping felons who have done their time find a new start in their manager-in-training program. The company now has dozens of employees who have done time for drug or gang-related charges, all working as managers or waiting in the wings to join the training program.
An inmate needs to have an “aha moment” where he realizes his criminal past is behind him, according to Apple-Metro co-founder and CEO Zane Tankel. But he wants to know their history as felons and takes no excuses if they slip back into that life.
“Applebee’s saved my life,” Marcellus Benbow told Forbes. He’d received his GED and a food-handler certificate in prison, but was looking for a way to turn his life around. After starting as a broiler cook, he’s moved up to assistant kitchen manager and hopes to be promoted to kitchen manager.
Read more about Apple-Metro’s program — and the Fair Business Pledge that is asking employers to eliminate hiring barriers for those with criminal records — in the full-length article from Forbes.