Atlanta Eatery Serves Up Pancakes And A 'Plan B' At the Stone Soup Kitchen in Atlanta, flapjacks are cheap and sales are strong — and people are lining up to work. The owner, who posted a job listing recently and got more than seven times the usual number of responses, says a lot of people in Atlanta are looking to him as a potential "Plan B."
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Atlanta Eatery Serves Up Pancakes And A 'Plan B'

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Atlanta Eatery Serves Up Pancakes And A 'Plan B'

Atlanta Eatery Serves Up Pancakes And A 'Plan B'

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NPR's correspondent David Greene is on the road talking with Americans about the economy during President Obama's first hundred days. He began his trip way up north in the snows of Michigan, and this morning, he joins us from Atlanta, Georgia, where it's - well, David, what is the temperature in the Peach State today?

DAVID GREENE: I think the high is like going to be 67, Liane. So I think we're talking about like a 75-degree swing from when we started up in the U.P. of Michigan, so I'm in short sleeves and really quite happy.

HANSEN: Wow - oh, welcome, by the day. Have we interrupted your breakfast?

GREENE: Not yet, but I'm going to be having some pancakes very soon, so I shouldn't stay long.

HANSEN: Excellent. We just heard from some people that have plan Bs. What about the people you're talking with? Are they making plans for the worst?

GREENE: A lot of people along I-75 are definitely planning for the bad news to come that they might be laid off, but I was actually interested. I was in houseboat country in Kentucky, and there were a lot of factories that are laying off workers because people are just not buying boats, and I was fascinated to be - some people there just said they don't want to think about their plan B yet because they love their job so much. They're just hoping that the economy swings back. I'm actually here at the Stone Soup Kitchen in Atlanta, a little neighborhood cafe, and the owner of this restaurant, Jason MacDonald(ph), told me that he's actually become the plan B for a lot of people in Atlanta. And he's right here. I want to let you to talk to him.

HANSEN: Great.

Mr. JASON MACDONALD (Owner, Stone Soup Kitchen in Atlanta) Hey, this is Jason.

HANSEN: Hi, Jason. How was your business these days?

Mr. MACDONALD: Our business is doing well. I mean, we're selling comfort food, so there's a big increase of pancake sales. I think people just want to eat those fluffy pancakes and forget about their problems. But I put an ad on Craigslist for a server. And in the past, I would usually get about 40 responses. I got 350 this time.


Mr. MACDONALD: About 90 in the first three hours and a lot of them were from people who hadn't worked in a restaurant biz in a while. They're people who had jobs in marketing or, you know, security guards. I mean, they ran the gamut from every kind of job you can imagine. I wish I could have hired them all, but I only have one position. ..TEXT: HANSEN: Are you married?

Mr. MACDONALD: Yes, I am.

HANSEN: Does your wife work with you?

Mr. MACDONALD: Well, interesting you would ask. My wife, Catherine(ph), just got laid off from her job and I'm trying to convince her to come work at the restaurant part time, and she's being a little resistant. (Laughing) ..TEXT: HANSEN: Is she there?

Mr. MACDONALD: She's here with me and I'm trying to get her to sling some hash today with us, but I'll you talk to her.

HANSEN: All right. Great. Hi, Catherine?


Mrs. MACDONALD: I'm fine. They're not pulling me back into the restaurant industry. They're not doing it.

(Soundbite of laughter) ..TEXT: HANSEN: You really don't want to see your husband all the time both at home at work?

Mrs. MACDONALD: Oh, my. Well, we have worked together plenty of times in the past. It's fine. But you know what, I - yeah. He can stay here all day, and I'll go to my plan B, which is not away on tables.

HANSEN: (Laughing) So you're just in there for breakfast this morning?


HANSEN: Great. Can I talk to David?

Mrs. MACDONALD: Absolutely. Hold on.

HANSEN: Thank you.

GREENE: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: So David, where are you going next?

GREENE: We're Atlanta for a little while, and then down to Florida and on to Miami to finish this first part of the big road trip.

HANSEN: And can we keep track of you?

GREENE: You can - I'm putting photos up. I'm twitting, so you can follow me on Twitter and you can also send ideas. And actually, Jason, the owner here, that's how we got in touch - he put a comment on our Web site, and here I am at his restaurant.

HANSEN: All right. Well, we'll be in touch again. NPR's David Greene, reporting this morning from Atlanta, Georgia. David, thanks and good luck out there.

GREENE: Thank you, Liane.

HANSEN: You're listening to NPR News.

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