As Diners Return, Restaurants Face a New Hurdle: Finding Workers

By Brett Anderson6 days ago

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Owners across the country report a shortage in help, as rebounding business forces them to compete for a shrunken pool of applicants.

MIAMI All Day, a downtown coffee shop and restaurant, started the year on a high note. January was its busiest month since the start of the pandemic. It was like turning on a light switch, said Camila Ramos, an owner.

Business was so good, it pushed All Days staff to a near-breaking point, Ms. Ramos said. When she had trouble hiring reinforcements to help with the increased traffic, she was forced to make a counterintuitive decision: She closed All Day for the month of February.

I couldnt find people to hire, she said last weekend outside her cafe, which reopened on March 1. I just wanted some time to reset the operations.

Ms. Ramos discovered early what the owners of full-service restaurants nationwide are now experiencing: a persistent worker shortage in the face of an upswing in business, as mild weather for outdoor dining spreads across the country, along with the reduced Covid restrictions that came early to South Florida and are now being felt throughout the U.S.

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