Five new restaurants are opening up in Thomasville. And on top of locals and tourists having more variety, the expansion is also expected to create more than 300 new jobs.
Grand openings, ribbon cuttings, and whole lot of happy eaters. Just a few words to describe the first two weeks of December in Thomasville.
"It's a validation for Thomasville as a good location for restaurants, a good number of venues, and it also says that people that have been looking to relocate have done their homework and have seen that this is really a dynamic market," said Chamber President Don Simms.
"First day is really kind of exciting and it is getting a little bit crazy, but everything is going really smooth and a lot of customers are really satisfied," said Super Hibachi Buffet Manager Susan Lia.
The festivities began on Thursday with the opening of Little Caesars, continued with two new oriental buffets, and then will cap off Monday with the grand opening of the mega Olive Garden/Red Lobster combination.
Economic experts say the new Olive Garden/Red Lobster Combo created about 200 new jobs in the community. The new Super Hibachi Buffet on US 19 held their ribbon cutting this morning.
"I'm still accepting opinions from the customers and we are going to do more stuff for the customers to make them feel at home," said Lia.
Disability vocational advocate Michael Edwards says these new openings will help him find more jobs for his clients with special needs.
"Competition is good and variety is good so it also gives the opportunity for those seeking job placement a bigger opportunity rather then them relying on one or two local employers," said Disability Vocational Advocate Michael Edwards.
And chamber president Don Simms says the new additions will help encourage seniors to relocate to Thomasville. "And one of the quality of life elements of retiree recruitment is the number of restaurants that you have, the variety. Since retirees eat out a good deal of the time."
The owner of Little Caesars in Thomasville says their first few days have been so successful, they are constantly in danger of running out of food. While the Olive Garden and Red Lobster will both be under the same roof, they will each run as completely separate restaurants.