Delaware Valley restaurants struggle to find skilled workers as customers return

As things get back to normal, people are tempted to go to their favorite restaurants, but once there, many are seeing a sign on the door – Now Hiring.

Apparently, it’s difficult to find staff, currently.

Signs posted everywhere – "Now Hiring," "We’re Hiring," "Help Wanted" and restaurants are particularly desperate to find help.

As more and more people get vaccinated and feel comfortable going out to eat, restaurants hard hit by COVID and hungry for customers, ironically are finding themselves short-handed.

"That has really been the struggle, as demand grows, we are having trouble keeping up with it, because of a lack of skilled labor," stated Tamas Szene, Director of Restaurant Operations for Fearless Restaurants.

Szene says between the governor’s orders and CDC guidelines over the last 18 months, employees left for a more consistent income.

"I know many skilled sous-chefs or line cooks ventured into landscaping and other sorts of work that was available," Szene added.

They’re looking for workers at all levels, from servers to management. That’s why they are serving up all kinds of incentives for potential, beyind health benefits and 401ks.

"If you refer an employee that lasts 90 days, you’re entitled to a bonus," Szene commented.

$100 per referral. Waitress Keira Baldwin already brought in a friend.

"Definitely I’m telling anyone who’s looking for a job, no question. If I bring in five people, that’s $500 right away," Baldwin stated.

Over at Fellni Café, in Bryn Mawr, owner Franco Raimondo says he has to rely on family members to get by. That big "Help Wanted" sign in his window, doing very little.

"Impossible, pay dishwasher $15 per hour, nobody comes in. I don’t know why. I don’t know," Raimondo lamented.

Needless to say, he’s frustrated.

"If I post in Italy, minimum, easy, 200 people come see. Here, nobody come for one year," Raimondo added.



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