The reopening of restaurants across the state has been a welcome development for happy diners. But now many restaurant owners both locally and nationwide are saying they can’t find enough people to do the famously difficult work of being a server, busser or other restaurant employee. Will Gilson, the chef and owner of Puritan & Company, and Bessie King, general manager of Villa México Café, joined Jim Braude to discuss.
“We’re located in the middle of the Financial District, so people not returning to work in the offices has made it twice as hard for us to survive,” King said. “Now it’s a double-edged sword. We stayed open for them [the staff], but unfortunately they haven’t returned to work and we can’t even offer more hours or expand our services because we are short-staffed.”
“All of this was here before COVID,” Gilson said about the staffing shortage. “This just made it worse. But I also think it was the first time that people had the ability to stop and take a look at what life would be like if they didn’t have to be stuck working a job just to make ends meet.”
WATCH: Local restaurateurs on the staffing challenge