‘Not Worth It’: Los Angeles Restaurants Increase Pay To Attract Wary Employees
Businesses have reopened in Los Angeles and across the United States, with “We’re hiring” placards adorning the walls. However, if life feels pre-Covid, eateries have a new challenge: employees are unwilling to return at any cost.
Skyler Gamble, a manager at Acme Hospitality, which handles multiple restaurants in Santa Barbara, about two hours north of Los Angeles, said, “We are dealing with a staffing scarcity that I have not experienced in my career.”
“As business levels have recovered in the last six to nine months, we’ve noticed that fewer and fewer candidates are responding to job postings.”
Coronavirus and pandemic-related limitations wreaked havoc on the hotel business, resulting in the loss of millions of jobs.
However, those restaurateurs hoping for a return to normalcy have been rudely awakened.
Waiters, cooks, and bartenders are in high demand, according to classified ads on the internet.
However, as a result of a huge shift in power, companies who wish to hire a talented worker must progressively stand out from the crowd.
Craig Martin, owner of Cafe 50’s on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, is looking for a new cook. He’s providing a $2,000 recruiting incentive — $500 per month for four months – due to a paucity of applications.
Martin, like many others who are looking for work, attributes the labor scarcity to pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
He claims that many former service industry workers are “not even thinking about looking for work.”
The reality, according to Enrique Lopezlira, head of the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s low-wage job program, is more complicated.
Employers who complain about the labor market should admit that they can’t find workers “at the wage and quality of job” they’re ready to offer, he said.
Many hospitality employees don’t have paid sick leave or health insurance, and they’re “still not willing to return to work because they still feel very much at risk of the infection,” he said, especially as Covid variants proliferate.
The issue of childcare is also affecting women’s return to work, particularly during the summer months.
There is “definitely not a labour shortage,” according to University of California Berkeley economist Sylvia Allegretto.
“However, businesses find it surprising that as the economy improves, people are choosing their best possibilities rather than returning to the lowest-paying positions with few or no benefits,” Allegretto added.
Kenzie McMillan worked as a waitress in a Hollywood restaurant before to the outbreak.
She lost her employment with “no. Washington Newsday Brief News” over night in March 2020.