This Fine-Dining Restaurant Has Hired Over 200 Former Criminals. None Have Re-Offended
January 11, 2017
A fine dining restaurant in Cleveland, OH, is all about giving people second chances.
Edwins, a French restaurant that opened in 2013, is believed to be the only upscale restaurant in the U.S. where ex-offenders make up a majority of the staff.
More than 200 ex-convicts have gone through a six-month rotation at Edwins and not one has re-offended – with 90% of them gaining permanent employment.
Restaurant owner Brandon Chrostowski says he wants to give former criminals a second chance at life.
“I was a reckless teenager, and one night, I was arrested and thrown in jail,” said Chrostowski. “Fortunately, I had a judge who gave me a break instead of 10 years in prison. While I was on probation, I met a chef who mentored me – and once I was in the kitchen, I knew that’s where I belonged for the rest of my life.”
Edwins provides 40-50 hours of training each week for six months. The “students” receive a weekly payment, as well as tips from diners.
Going even further, Chrostowski launched a dormitory for his employees when he noticed that not having decent, affordable housing in the area kept many of his students from acheiving stability.
“Edwins is a family. There’s a spirit here where we’re in this together. To have a second chance is to have a new life. And if you’re ready to work hard, you can change the stars.”