Maine restaurant worker shortage is a sign of deeper problems in the industry, some owners say

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Maine restaurant worker shortage is a sign of deeper problems in the industry, some owners say

While some restaurants are struggling, some are hoping the problem will lead to more benefits for workers

As we approach midsummer, a labor shortage still affects plans to reopen businesses, especially restaurants. “People’s willingness to come back to the industry has changed a lot,” said Cara Stadler, chef and owner of Bao Bao. Dumpling House in Portland, Tao Yuan restaurant and ZaoZe Café & Market in Brunswick. ZaoZe will expand its opening hours next week, Bao Bao is back in the dinner service, but Tao Yuan has yet to reopen. “Everyone is probably asking questions about Tao like every day, wondering when Tao will be open, when is Tao – what’s going on with Tao,” said Luke Curnin, ZaoZe employee. a problem that many restaurants and small businesses have faced since the country’s reopening began. We just don’t have the staff to fully reopen Tao because we are about 50% of the staff we had before the pandemic, ” said Stadler, who is part of One Fare Wage, a group that pledges to tip service workers a minimum wage. I think our industry must be feeling this pain because I think there are a lot of horrible restaurants that deserve to have no employees because they treat them terribly; don’t pay them well, don’t give them time off, don’t have regular days off, no vacations, like these places don’t do not offer health insurance. Like, yeah, you deserve to have no staff at all. If you don’t want to treat your employees well, you don’t deserve to have staff, ”Stadler said. Curnin, one of Stadler’s new hires, worked at ZaoZe for a month and a half. the environment, really, that’s what makes me want to come, to come here every day, is that the people are great, ”Curnin said. While worker shortages are painful for companies, including Stadler’s, in a way, she’s happy to see the math happening in her industry, as she hopes it will lead to lasting change. “If you have a whole community of scarred people from an industry that treats them terribly, this is the outcome you’re going to face,” Stadler mentioned.

As midsummer approaches, a labor shortage still affects plans to reopen businesses, especially restaurants.

“People’s willingness to come back to the industry has changed a lot,” said Cara Stadler, chef and owner of Bao Bao Dumpling House in Portland, Tao Yuan Restaurant and ZaoZe Café & Market in Brunswick.

ZaoZe will expand its hours next week, Bao Bao is back in the dinner service, but Tao Yuan has yet to reopen.

“Everyone is probably asking questions about Tao like every day, wondering when Tao will be open, when is Tao – what’s going on with Tao,” said Luke Curnin, ZaoZe employee.

Stadler faces a problem that many restaurants and small businesses have faced since the country’s reopening began.

“We just don’t have the staff to fully reopen Tao because we’re about 50% of the staff we had before the pandemic,” said Stadler, who is part of One Fare Wage, a group that is committed to pay tip service employees a minimum wage.

“I think our industry must be feeling this pain because I think there are a lot of awful restaurants that deserve to not have employees because they treat them terribly; don’t pay them well, don’t give them time off, don’t have regular days off, no vacations, as these places don’t offer health insurance. Like, yeah, you deserve to have no staff at all. If you don’t want to treat your people well, you don’t deserve to have staff, ”Stadler said.

Curnin, one of Stadler’s newest recruits, has been working at ZaoZe for a month and a half.

“It’s a great environment, really, that’s what makes me want to come, to come here every day, the people are great,” Curnin said.

While worker shortages are painful for companies, including Stadler’s, in a way, she’s happy to see the math happening in her industry, as she hopes it will lead to lasting change.

“If you have a whole community of scarred people from an industry that treats them terribly, this is the outcome you’re going to face,” Stadler said.


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