Restaurant owners in Triad dealing with staff shortages


GREENSBORO, N.C. — Restaurant owners in the Triad told FOX8 they’re having a hard time to find people to put to work.

“Now that we’re starting to let people in with more seats in the dining room, we’re having to hire more people,” said Ray Essa, the owner of Cafe Pasta. 

On Tuesday afternoon, it was just him and a server taking care of customers at the restaurant on State Street. 

“We help each other out,” he explained.

Essa said he’s struggling to find people to come work for him.

“Before, when we put out an ad, we would get a strong response. Lately, there’s been very little,” he said.

Two miles away, in downtown Greensboro, Wes Wheeler is having the same problem.

“We definitely could use about five to six positions,” said the owner of Undercurrent.

Wheeler is limiting their dining room capacity because of the staffing shortage.

“When you’re doing 50% capacity, the staff is fine. But when the demand skyrockets to what you’re used to, and everybody is already working a 40-hour week, it would be nice to have a couple more people,” he said. 

Both business owners have some ideas of why people just aren’t applying for the jobs.

“Some people don’t feel like they have to work. They can get the unemployment benefits, and they don’t have the desire to come out and work,” Essa said. “They weigh it out…’well I won’t make as much, but I don’t have to go into work at all.'”

“During the pandemic, people who used to be in the restaurant business found homes at larger corporations. Those jobs might be lost,” Wheeler said.

They’re urging anyone who wants to work, to apply for the jobs and see some immediate benefits.

“A lot of restaurants are offering more incentives, more per hour,” Wheeler said. “Paid vacations and all that good stuff that make people want to work in the restaurant business.’

Some of the restaurants in the Triad are posting hiring needs on social media and job boards.

The best thing people can do is show up in person and talk with someone to see if they are qualified. 

The most sought-after positions are kitchen and wait staff. 

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