DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF)- Restaurants and fast food chains are struggling to recover because of a worker shortage.
According to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, 91% of operators say they currently have job openings that are difficult to fill, and most do not expect labor challenges to ease after the pandemic is over. The study also revealed 93% of operators said recruiting and retaining employees will likely be more difficult after the pandemic is over than it was before the pandemic started.
Anna Tauzin with the Texas Restaurant Association says the shortage of workers is so bad, that it’s delaying the hospitality industry’s recovery.
“Even though Texas restaurants are open at technically 100% capacity, they’re not able to hire enough people to fill and service the restaurant so they are cutting back hours at a time where costs are still very high and they need to make up revenue loss from the past 14 months,” she said.
Tauzin said the worker shortage problem is linked to a number of reasons.
During shut downs, restaurant workers switched to other industries. “The leisure and hospitality industry in Texas shed about 15% of its workforce during the pandemic and many employees switched to retail, delivery driving and construction,” said Tauzin.
She said people aren’t coming back into work because employers aren’t able to match federal unemployment benefits and some people are still hesitant with health concerns.
She said it’s also difficult for working parents in their industry to maintain a job when there’s still uncertainty about in-person schools, day care and other support.
“So all of those things combined, it’s a huge issue and we completely understand from our restaurant staff point of view why they may not be able to come back to work or why they are afraid to come back to work but it’s definitely hindering the recovery of our industry,” she said.
Tauzin said with almost all restaurants needing help and seeking employees, now is the best time to take advantage of the openings because chances are you will shoot up the ladder very quickly.
She encourages Texans to look at the Texas Workforce Commission Job Board where owners post job openings.