Regional restaurant group has dozens of job openings

CTI Restaurants Inc. is hiring dozens of new employees for its area locations, including as many as 30 employees for each of its three area Taco Bell locations.

Rebecca and Todd Wilber started CTI — short for Cincinnati Taco Investments — in 1998, purchasing nine underperforming Taco Bell restaurants from Taco Bell corporate. The couply acquired UNO Pizzeria & Grill in West Chester Twp. in 2006. CTI now owns 11 Taco Bells and the Uno location, with most of its restaurants in Butler, Warren and Hamilton counties.

CTI employs between 325 and 400 employees depending on the time of year, Becky Wilber told this media outlet.

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“Taco Bell has become an unbelievably strong brand due to its terrificm affordable food, superior leadership and cutting edge marketing,” Wilber said.

CTI needs the most help at its Mason, Lebanon and West Chester locations, which are hiring between 10 and 30 people each for the summer.

“Taco Bell requires more help during the summer months and UNO’s peak business is in the fall and winter months,” Wilber said. “We’re always looking for great management, both hourly and salaried positions, (and) crew jobs also are available at all of our stores.”

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We posed several questions to Wilber about the company’s plans for the future, the hiring process and the potential for growth. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing the company and others in the industry and how is the company uniquely positioned to address that challenge?

“Our biggest challenge is recruiting outstanding help. We tend to promote from within which motivates employees to stay with our company. Most everywhere a person looks today businesses are in need of help. The labor market is very competitive. We have hiring bonuses for existing staff and management that refer potential help. ‘Family’ is how we often refer to our culture. Many on our team have been with us over 10 years and they have literally grown up with us.”

Q: What’s the most prevalent roadblock you encounter when it comes to hiring and what can jobseekers do to remedy that situation?

“Unfortunately, there are several trade areas where the applicants are not prepared to work. Training on how to get a job and keep it is essential. It is also critical that the store management work with flexible schedules based on the employee’s needs. If not, the individual will easily move down the block for a dime more in pay.”

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Q: Some job seekers are concerned about the limits of advancement within a company. To what degree can CTI employees advance from entry?

CTI prefers to promote from within. When we do hire management from the outside and it is explained to the applicants that “where they go in our company and how quickly depends completely on you and your motivations to learn and excel.” Taco Bell also offers college classes for an employee’s growth and development. Scholarships are available thru the brand’s support of The Boys and Girls Club national program to encourage students to graduate from High School. Monies are donated twice a year at the restaurants to support this terrific program.

Q: What is the vision for CTI’s growth, both jobs and otherwise, for the next five years?

“CTI intends to build more stores with the Taco Bell brand. Each new store will typically employ 35 to 45 team members and management. Our goal is to build one store a year depending on affordable real estate and development costs.”

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