Wilmington's forthcoming food hall inside the DuPont Hotel seeks to hire 100-plus employees before opening to the public on April 18.
DECO (an abbreviated version of "Delaware Collective"), a partnership between The Buccini/Pollin Group and Seawall Development, will hold two jobs fairs on Tuesday, March 19 and Saturday, March 23.
Eight restaurants/storefronts will open with the launch of the food hall, offering positions in both front-of-house and back-of-house roles. The partnership has stated that it seeks to hire much of the 100 jobs from within Wilmington.
"We really do want to prioritize local hiring," said Peter DiPrinzio of Seawall Development. "Wilmington has a higher unemployment rate than the surrounding areas, so we'd like to be a part of the solution if possible."
From the restaurants' perspective, he added, local hiring is a win-win, because employees live closer to work and often have an easier time getting into the downtown area.
Wilmington City Council President Hanifa Shabazz will be available March 19 at 10 a.m. for a meet-and-greet to welcome the potential applicants.
Candidates should bring a resume, but they should not expect strict qualifications. DECO is hiring positions at various levels of experience. Due to the food court's distinctive "open kitchen format," in which customers will be able to see their food being made, the bulk of the jobs will involve cooking or prep work.
That kind of engagement with customers means DECO is seeking employees who are prepared to embrace the hospitality side of the service industry.
"It's not so much a qualification thing," DiPrinzio said. "It's about the interest and attitude of employees wanting to be more customer-facing."
"We are delighted to welcome DECO food hall as the newest member of our rejuvenated Downtown district," said Mayor Mike Purzycki. "Not only will these eight new restaurants join a growing family of successful eateries here, they will quickly become an integral part of our small business community by helping to provide much needed jobs to local residents. We wish DECO much success when it opens its doors this spring."
DECO will officially open to the public at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 18.