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Restaurants face hiring shortage

91% consider finding workers among the top 3 current crises
From chains and to family-owned restaurants, "Now Hiring" signs are popping up everywhere.
From chains and to family-owned restaurants, "Now Hiring" signs are popping up everywhere.(Tony Geftos)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Restaurants attempting to bounce back from the pandemic are faced with a new crisis: A staffing shortage. There are plenty of job openings. However, a majority of food service establishments are saying no one is applying.

A a recent poll by the Ohio Restaurant Association shows 91% of food service operators consider “finding workers” either the top concern or among the top 3.

Mike Verikakis, whose family owns Ideal Hot Dog, says he and his staff members are pulling extra duties, but they can’t seem to pull in enough new hires to fill vacant positions.

“This is the first time we’re waiting weeks and weeks to get one application,” Verikakis says. “Online application sites, we tried ‘em all. Signs outside, tried them all. There’s nothing we can do. There’s nothing we can do to get people through the door.”

The door is now closed on Mondays at Dale’s Bar & Grill in Maumee. Owner Bill Anderson says it’s because of the hiring shortage.

“We’re getting to the point where we cannot hire anybody,” says Anderson. “It doesn’t have anything to do with money. It has everything to do with the fact that the government is paying people to stay home. And I’m not blaming the people, necessarily, I’m blaming the government. When you can make as much or more staying home, I get it. But what they’re doing basically is hijacking our workforce.”

The Ohio Restaurant Association says Governor Mike DeWine intends to end the extra $300 per week in federal assistance June 26th, 2021. After that, food service operators like Anderson expect to see more people looking for jobs.

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