Published: Apr 19, 2011 10:30 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 19, 2011 1:56 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.-- A popular fast food chain was serving up more than just Big Macs and fries today. It was also handing out jobs to qualified applicants.

As part of McDonald's National Hiring Day, it was looking to add 50,000 new employees across the country. 180 of those jobs are available in Southwest Florida.

This region is home to 54 McDonald's restaurants and seven franchisees spread out across Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and parts of Sarasota counties.

The fast-good giant's hiring goal translates to about 3 to 4 new hires per location.

At the restaurant on Del Prado Blvd. in North Cape Coral, dozens filled out applications and sat for interviews, including Roosevelt Lauria.

"I'm hungry to learn, so feed me," Lauria said before beginning his interview.

The husband and father works in retail, but his hours were cut back because of the suffering economy. He's been forced to find part-time work elsewhere, but he doesn't mind.

"I'll even scrub toilets," Lauria said. "I gotta take care of my family."

The positions available run the gamut, from crew to management.

Those are all jobs Deanna Cross has held. The restaurant manager says they're looking for highly motivated candidates.

 "I'm really looking for sharp looking people that are really wanting the job. Not just someone who's looking to fill out that application for unemployment. I'm looking for someone who's really ready to work."

And those who get the positions will have to be ready quickly. The selected applicants will find out if they're hired by Wednesday, and orientation is set for this Friday.

Florida's unemployment rate is currently at 11.1 percent. That's the lowest it has been in over a year, but still over the national average.