Restaurants booming, but struggle with adequate staffing
BATON ROUGE - As things slowly start going back to normal, people are coming out of their homes and flocking to restaurants.
“We’re definitely busier now than we were before the pandemic started,” said Trent Fresina, owner of Our Mom’s.
“It certainly seems like these loosened regulations have made people more comfortable coming out to eat, which is great for the restaurants all around town, that people are ready to get back to it,” said Jay Ducote, owner of Government Taco.
It’s great news for restaurants, but a bit of a double edged sword.
“We’re not seeing as much applications as normal. Typically, we see a lot more applications come through,” said Fresina.
Restaurants are short-staffed, either cut down from earlier capacity limits, or just struggling to keep up with the boom of people, and new hires are hard to come by.
“Getting that help can be tricky. There’s still a lot less people that are looking for those entry level, service industry jobs. I think there are still a lot of people that are collecting some sort of unemployment or college students that just aren’t really back in town because they’re doing virtual classes,” said Ducote.
‘Now Hiring’ signs are all around town, but no one’s applying—forcing current staff to pick up the slack.
“One of the biggest things right now with the staffing is trying to make sure we aren’t overworking the staff that we have, so we’ve had to move some people around and people are picking up stuff that are normally not part of their jobs duties,” said Fresina.
Business owners say the lack of staffing is not only causing an inconvenience for the restaurant owners, but also for patrons who may experience longer wait times.
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