Data published earlier this month from the National Restaurant Association showed that 78% of restaurant operators said they don’t have enough staff, and nearly 70% had reduced operating hours. Rolston Waltin, the owner of Walron Inc. d/b/a/ Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant (70 West 125th Street), had to think out of the box for hiring and retaining staff. “Unfortunately, we are not immune to the current national hiring problem, which limits us from employing experienced personnel. The upside is that we hired several students, high school and college-age, and gave them an opportunity. Across the board, this was their first job. While hiring young people is not new to us; it is the first time they were the majority. I’ll tell you, if you take the time to invest in young people, training them with competitive skills for the future, mentoring them, you can get a return on your time,” says Waltin.
The Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant of Harlem has been committed to the community for over 20 years. “We had to move from one location to another during the pandemic, and the delay in opening a new location and hiring staff has taken its toll. However, we have been a reliable eatery in the community for a long time; it was difficult to be closed for over 18 months. Many of our customers are like family, and that’s a gift. We are happy to be open daily while some businesses are not able to because of staffing issues,” states Waltin.
Golden Krust is one of the few Black-owned franchises still in business and operating in more than ten states. “I take pride in being an owner. Education is a priority, and that is how I pay it forward to my young team members. We observe the New York City guidelines regarding scheduling, and the students have had it drilled in their heads––education comes first. Also, a couple of our staffers have expressed the desire to become entrepreneurs. I realize representation matters, and the pandemic has taught me that young people are truly the future of the workforce,” says Waltin.
Rolston Waltin, a native of Jamaica, West Indies, is a successful entrepreneur. The teachings of his role models inspire his business principles for vision and patience, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. At Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant on 125th Street, the secret sauce is customer care and delicious healthy food. “Many Jamaican food recipes are a direct result of being poor and not able to afford meat. The recipes for the mouth-watering dishes are what we commonly call ‘ground food,’ or food you can grow. Our menu selections are high in fresh vegetables and lean proteins, and we cook fresh food daily,” beams Waltin.