Restaurants Struggling to Find Employees is Nationwide Trend - Alliance to Save the American Dream

Restaurants Struggling to Find Employees is Nationwide Trend

April 26, 2021 - Victor Rogers
Chef, restaurant help wanted sign

Across the country, restauranteurs are struggling to find employees. Last week, the National Federation of Independent Business surveyed more than 500 small businesses and reported that 42% of them had job openings they couldn’t fill – the latest trend following the enhanced, long-term unemployment benefits included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. As of April 6, some 7.4 million jobs were open at the end of February, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions, the rising difficulty of finding workers has left entrepreneurs picking up more responsibilities, leaving them overworked. 

Giselle Deiaco, owner of Avena Ristorante in downtown Manhattan and Avena Ristorante in the Upper East Side, told FOX Business that prior to the pandemic, she would have hundreds of applications to sort through for one position. 

“A lot of people have left or they get unemployment checks,” she said. “Some get more than what they need. It’s been like that for a few months already.” 

At her Upper East Side location, Deiaco only has 11 employees on payroll, while her downtown location is functioning on 10 employees. As the warmer weather rolls in, the lack of employees will make it difficult to serve customers quickly. 

Dino Ferraro, owner of Capone’s Italian Cucina and Black Trumpet Bistro in Orange County, California, shared similar frustrations and has said that many of his former employees have not returned. He has resorted to placing hiring ads to fill positions. 

“When we place the ad…we get one-fifth of the response compared (to) before,” he said.  

According to Ferraro, only one out of 10 individuals show up after scheduling an interview. Due to the staffing shortage, Ferraro has had to cut the lunch service at Black Trumpet Bistro and has a limited lunch menu at Capone’s Italian Cucina. 

The National Restaurant Association’s most recent survey found that 1 in 4 restaurant operators listed recruitment as their top concern, ranking it higher than Covid.

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.


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