BATON ROUGE, LA. — Amid widespread economic decline caused by COVID-19, BBQGuys is turning its ongoing operations into a source of employment for many in the community.
The nation’s leading online retailer of grills and outdoor living products has hired a dozen employees in the last two weeks and is still seeking to fill immediate needs across the company, most notably 16 online sales representative positions for its call center. After expanding employee benefits and quickly pivoting to a work-from-home structure for approximately 160 employees in accordance with government guidelines, BBQGuys has seen its year-over-year volume of business nearly double as stay-at-home orders across the country kept consumers in their homes.
The spike in demand tested the company’s warehouse, which was already working with reduced-sized, 10-person crews as recommended by health and safety organizations. In response to the surge of orders, the online retailer based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, increased warehouse shifts and made a wave of hires to continue fulfilling customer needs around the clock.
We’re lucky and privileged to be in a position where we can not only help people stay at home and get through this, but also care for our employees while bringing on some new ones, said BBQGuys executive Corey Tisdale.
We’re fortunate enough to be experiencing success right now, and that allows us to do our part for everyone out there struggling.
BBQGuys is still hiring warehouse staff and ecommerce specialists, among other positions, despite Louisiana reporting more than 300,000 job losses since the coronavirus pandemic began.
In addition to usual employee benefits like comprehensive medical insurance and 401(k) matching, BBQGuys has provided all remote employees with a food allowance of $50 per month. On-site warehouse employees, meanwhile, receive a daily meal catered by local restaurants, plus appreciation pay for the massive amount of orders currently being processed.
All new hires are training remotely at this time as part of the company’s commitment to keeping employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect essential workers still on site, BBQGuys has increased daily cleaning routines at its headquarters and is diligently following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The same applies for the business’ showroom, which is currently open by appointments only.
BBQGuys is an ecommerce business that has provided outdoor living products like BBQ grills and accessories, outdoor kitchens, patio furniture, and more to customers nationwide since 1998. The Baton Rouge Business Report named BBQGuys one of Baton Rouge’s top 100 private companies for 2019, which came after the online retailer claimed a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private businesses for the 12th straight year. The company also holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has spent the last 11 years on the Internet Retailer 500 list of fastest-growing online retailers. In April 2019, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship selected BBQGuys as a National Small Business of the Week.