Area community volunteers to help restaurant struggling with staff | News

HATLEY, Wis. (WAOW) – Pat Hahn and Jim Schwartzkopf have owned Freddy’s Mexican and More in Hatley for 13 years.

But for them and for many other restaurateurs, this year has been the most difficult.

“During the pandemic, being closed was super difficult,” Hahn said.

The restaurant is now open again six days a week, but they ran into the added problem of not having enough staff after losing all of their servers.

“I said I had absolutely no idea what we were going to do. Our option was to close a few days a week because we didn’t have enough help,” Hahn said.

They say that’s when two customers approached to offer help. This quickly turned into five volunteers, including family members who help out when needed.

“Fantastic. Just…wow,” Schwartzkopf said when asked to describe what it felt like.

“Overwhelming, I guess, that people are doing this for us,” Hahn said.

Most volunteers have no restaurant experience. But Jim and Pat say customers have been incredibly supportive of the experience.

“The community is very important to everyone in Hatley. She is surrounded by good good people,” said Theresa Schulta, a regular customer.

Schulta lives in Schofield but comes to Freddy’s to catch up with friends. She says she hopes the restaurant will attract interest from those who want to work.

“You’ll have great people to work for and also great clients,” Schulta said.

Jim and Pat say they’ve hired a few new people over the past few months, but many have stopped showing up.

But they’re still looking, and if you want to earn some extra cash, you can call (715) 446-3609.

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