Restaurant worker shortage puts strain on local businesses

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WBRC) - Restaurant owners across the country, including many in Alabama, are facing a big problem: they can’t find enough people to work.

And some business owners are now coming up with creative ways to lure people back to work.

Just taking a drive down any busy street, you can see signs posted in windows of business looking to hire, and some restaurants have even resorted to cutting hours to compensate for their lack workers.

That’s why the owners of 1918 Catering are offering incentives to get people back in their kitchen.

“Today, I’ve been out doing deliveries, invoicing, meeting with clients, grocery shopping. Those are the things right now impede us from being successful businesses.

Co-owner and CEO of Operations for 1918 Catering, Jason Brown said some of the problem is that they’re making more money collecting unemployment than they would be going to work every day.

“Right now, that’s going to be an uphill battle. Some people feel like this is the first time in life they’ve ever had a chance to quote unquote live off the government or get some of that money back that they’ve put into the system,” Brown said.

He explained that the lack of workers is putting a strain on his small business, which is growing by leaps and bounds.

But he said it’s hard to meet the demand without more hands on deck.

“We’re having to actually turn down events daily. We’ve had people calling in right now at one of our corporate places that wants to add on, and we’re like we’re kind of stretched kind of thin right now,” Brown said.

That’s why he’s offering incentives, like sign-on bonus and special opportunities for workers to feature their work and cultivate their own brands.

He’s hoping to attract people who are serious about the food industry.

“1918 is a place where every day is a party. We’re at a wedding every weekend, we’re doing birthday parties every weekend, we have baby showers that are going on. So, if you like to party, if you’re social, and want to get paid, then this is place. You can twerk while you work here at 1918.”

1918 Catering has several job openings right now.

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