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Restaurants struggle to hire employees

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TUCSON (KVOA) -- It's becoming a familiar refrain, the city is emerging from pandemic closures and employers say they can't find workers to staff their business.

"We're finding it really more difficult than in years past to find quality help. In my 31 years in the hospitality business this is as about a dry as a labor market as we have seen in some time," said Grant Krueger of Union Public House.

Krueger employs nearly 200 people in his restaurant group and wants to add another 20 employees. But he says it's hard getting people in the door for an interview.

"We're seeing less applicants come in for our advertisements, for our jobs. And on top of that we are seeing a very surprising number, a very very high number of interviews, no show," Krueger said.

This trend is being seen across the restaurant industry. A Florida McDonald's franchise is paying people 50 bucks just to show up for the interview. Olive Garden restaurants are raising pay and offering bonuses to attract workers. Krueger's business is offering employees $100 for successful job referrals.

Krueger thinks several factors are fueling the shortage in workers. "I think part of it comes from just the massive shutdowns to the hospitality industry last year. That many qualified laborers have just moved on to greener pastures or other industries," he said.

The pandemic has also changed how Americans want to work.
A ZipRecruiter survey of job seekers found 60% of respondents said they were looking for remote work. However only around 9% of vacancies advertised on ZipRecruiter platform last winter provided that opportunity.


Shelle Jackson

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