(Photo courtesy of Blazin BBQ)

Ontario Disability Employment Network Honours Blazin’ BBQ

The owner and staff of Blazin BBQ Ribhouse in Chatham are pumped.

That’s because the restaurant was honoured by the Ontario Disability Employment Network on Thursday for being an inclusive employer and hiring people with disabilities.¬†October is Disability Employment Awareness Month and the Ontario Disability Employment Network says “16% of Ontarians identify as having a disability.”

Owner Matt Jenkins says his restaurant has two employees with disabilities and it’s great to be recognized for the first time.

“It does make us feel really proud. It was a project that we took on last fall and it’s turned into an award here. So, it’s kind of cool the way it all worked out,” says Jenkins.

A celebration is being held at the restaurant at 435 St. Clair St. on Thursday from 12pm until 2pm and those attending will get a free pulled pork sandwich. Jenkins says his employees are reliable and dependable and help his restaurant as much as the restaurant helps them.

“The studies show that they’re long term employees and in the restaurant business there’s a high turn around. So, we want to try and reduce our turn around here at the restaurant and give them a chance to work in the workforce,” Jenkins says.

Jenkins says there are no regrets about hiring people with disabilities because it’s worked out great.

“Daniel Hawkins has been an asset to us. He’s our prep guy back there. So, he preps a lot of our food, he’s food safe certified, he’s organized, on task, very punctual and we’ve had no complaints,” says Jenkins.