As the cameras begin rolling for a new season of “Vanderpump Rules,” upcoming episodes may capture some of the hurdles Tom Sandoval faces in reopening TomTom.
During an exclusive interview with , Sandoval opened up about the challenges facing his industry, along with his realization that reopening TomTom would not be easy. He said the ongoing pandemic has caused many employees to leave, making it difficult to reassemble his team.
Also speaking, Ariana Madix admitted that while she has no idea what Vanderpump Rules Season 9 will bring, anything is possible and she is ready for the fun to return.
TomTom lost many employees as the pandemic dragged on for months
Sandra Valley and her partner and Vanderpump Rules actor Tom Schwartz held a fundraiser via cameo for their furloughed employees when the pandemic broke out. The duo ended up raising more than $50,000 for the out-of-work employees, but unfortunately the pandemic dragged on too long.
“People obviously had to adjust,” Sandoval said of the furloughed employees. “I know a lot of our employees have gone back to their hometowns to save money on rent. And obviously a lot of [people in]the service industry are also in the entertainment industry.”
With the entertainment industry also closing, many workers were running out of options. “So during that time, you don’t go to auditions, nothing was being shot,” he continued. “So a lot of people just went back to their hometowns to regroup. To reconnect with their family.”
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“And a lot of them are coming back to town,” he continued. “And, you know, I suppose one good thing is that the apartment rents like the rents are a little bit lower than it was [before the pandemic]. “They’re giving deals like one month free or two months free.”
“It’s difficult, though,” Sandoval admitted. “It’s harder to find staff. I never thought that would be the case. Living in L.A. myself, when I’m job hunting in L.A., I’m used to being one of 30 people trying to get a job as a bartender.”
Meanwhile, Ariana Madix is ready for the ‘roaring ’20s’ on ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Season 9
Lisa Vanderpump even promoted open positions at TomTom on Twitter. “TomTom is hiring! We’re looking for great, fast, skilled, awesome bartenders!” she tweeted.
While Sandoval is working to re-staff the popular gastropub, Madix said she’s just looking forward to seeing everyone return. She said the new season of “Vanderpump Rules” is open to just about anything.
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A post shared by Ariana Madix (@ariana252525).
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“You know, the thing is, we never know, I think every season, you never know what’s going to end up happening,” Madix said. “Every time you try to predict what’s going to happen, things always go in a different direction. Something happens that we didn’t expect. But I know personally I’m super excited to go back. Super excited to see everybody. I’m ready for the roaring ’20s, letting my hair down and having a great time. So I’m really looking forward to all of that.”
Madix and Sandoval are also getting ready for the roaring ’20s with their Alka-Seltzer Mocktail Katermittel. The duo made a dose of Alka-Seltzer taste amazingly refreshing by infusing an Alka-Seltzer tablet with ginger syrup and lavender honey with lemon-lime.