restaurateurs have trouble finding employees
The Alexandria Restaurant Partners said many of their restaurants need 30% more staff.
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – Restaurant owners are delighted that restrictions continue to decrease, but now they say they are struggling to find employees.
The partners of the Alexandria restaurant have just opened the BARCA pier and the wine bar on the Potomac River on April 1st. Reservations were hard to come by, say customers, but so did staff.
“I think it’s just more competition and more capacity,” said Dave Nicholas, Managing Partner. “You know, some people don’t want to travel. They were willing to travel when things were really tense in other markets. And you know, as things get slack, it gets harder and harder. .
Nicholas said many of their 10 restaurants are looking to hire around 30% more staff.
A BARCA bartender said if he left on the spot he would have at least six more vacancies waiting for him – that’s how much of a deficit there is.
He said part of the problem is that many of his colleagues left the industry when the pandemic hit and found more stable jobs.
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That’s why, when Gov. Ralph Northam suddenly gave the green light to take over the bar seats last week, Nicholas had a mixed reaction.
“It was a little hard to go straight away, you know, I had to navigate to get the furniture out and obviously to equip the bars,” he said. “But that was great news, and you know, we’re going to take it and hopefully keep it easy as it goes.
The new outdoor space was a welcome sight for patroness Robin Harry, who was out for lunch with fellow nurses and nurse practitioner friends on Sunday.
“It’s awesome. beautiful weather. Nice to be outside, ”said Harry. Every weekend we get together and go to a local location to support local businesses. “
Nicholas said he was overwhelmed by the positive response to the new bar. But, as their restaurants get even busier, staff are reminding customers that they are striving to thrive with fewer hands on deck. They ask for patience as leaders roll back more restrictions.
“The world is going to get back to normal and … I hope it’s in our rearview mirror and so will stay there forever,” Nicholas said.