STAFF SHORTAGE: Some restaurateurs hope ending unemployment will help recruit staff
IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – Improved federal unemployment benefits have ended in Colorado, leaving restaurateurs hoping to see a spike in new claims.
The service industry, which is still recovering financially from the pandemic, continues to struggle to find workers. Evan Lombardi, co-owner of Clear Creek Cidery and Eatery, says they are offering a $ 500 bonus to all employees who stay during the busy season, but have failed to retain staff.
“It could be unemployment, it could be that people have found different sources of income or it could just be that people don’t want to work in restaurants anymore. I’m not 100% sure, ”Lombardi said.
Lombardi says he and his business partner have had to take on additional responsibilities.
“It was a bit more exaggerated. I have been pushing 85 hours a week for the past 10 months. It was brutal, it was so hard, ”said Lombardi.
A recent Colorado Restaurant Association survey shows that many restaurants are getting creative in attracting workers.
The survey shows that nine in ten restaurants have changed their business practices or wages to find employees. One in four restaurants currently offer retention or hire bonuses, and nearly a quarter of those polled said they added new perks like extra paid time off, medical and dental insurance.
Sonia Riggs, CRA president and CEO, said ending improved unemployment benefits could give the industry a boost.
“We certainly hope so, we certainly hope to see more people decide that it makes more sense to go back to work, but only time will tell,” Riggs said.
Riggs says it’s likely a variety of factors behind the current labor shortage.
“I think it’s a combination of ending unemployment benefits that could make a difference. But we also see people who have left the workforce all together who have found different jobs where they can work from home, they may have relatives who are at high risk or cannot get the vaccine. And these are front line jobs, ”Riggs said.
Suggest a correction