Restaurants struggled with a lack of business during the pandemic, now they are dealing with another struggle, a lack of workers. A video posted on TikTok is raising awareness to this problem. A woman identified as Brittany Logan posted a sign at her local McDonalds that said “We are short-staffed. Please be patient with the staff. No one wants to work anymore.” She doesn’t identify the location, but the video has struck a chord. Entrepreneur.com writes:
The clip also had more than 960 comments, several of which pointed out that the shortage of workers has become a common problem in “every restaurant” in the United States.
CNBC reports, “Additional stimulus via both direct payments to individuals and enhanced unemployment benefits is a potential double-edged sword for restaurants. Consumers have more cash on hand and are returning to dine out. But some operators like Halpern feel it’s incentivizing workers to stay home.”
CNBC adds that massive hiring by places like Amazon may have also shrunk the labor pool. They spoke with Tropical Smoothie Cafe CEO Charles Watson about the hiring woes.
“There is a dearth of labor in the restaurant business and in the service business like we have never seen. … There is simply no labor in many to most of the markets that we have cafes in — simply put, people would rather stay home and get paid than go to work… That’s creating big problems for us in terms of our most important thing, which is customer service.”
Restaurant workers may also feel especially vulnerable to COVID since they are dealing with unmasked patrons.
One of the biggest problems is even more simple, there are tons of restaurants all hiring at the same time. The New York Times writes that this means there are “many more job openings than available workers.”
Hugh Acheson, a chef with restaurants in Atlanta and Athens, Ga., is in charge of food and beverage at the new Hotel Effie Sandestin, in Miramar Beach, Fla. Around the time it opened in February, he said, one online job site advertised more than 300 line cook openings in the same area. “And those listings had been up for, like, two months,” he said.
Perhaps if restaurants paid more, it would be easier to fill these jobs.
Whether it’s a signing bonus, or even giving workers access to a 401k, some restaurants are using whatever method works to lure workers. Today, Good Morning America reported on the shortages.