Short-staffed restaurants need new hires before the holidays
Leisure and hospitality employment is down 1.6 million nationwide since February 2020
PORTLAND, Oregon (KOIN) – Staff shortages in Oregon and across the country are making it difficult for businesses to fill positions as the vacation rush looms.
The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard in terms of job shortages. State data shows thousands of Oregon workers have left the restaurant and accommodation industry for other jobs by the end of 2020.
Employment in leisure and hospitality is down 1.6 million nationwide since February 2020.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers at Pioneer Place has dozens of openings and is stepping up efforts to fill them. Starting this week, the restaurant sends company employees to help shortage locations and recruit new workers.
“I could easily hire 25 to 30 people in Portland and feel pretty good – also that Pioneer Place is an upscale mall, here’s the holiday shopping season coming in November,” said Chris Zygler, regional manager of restaurants for Raising. Cane’s, “so I’d love to hire 25 more people over there. “
Raising Cane’s said it offered one-time bonuses to employees during the pandemic and plans to do so again before the end of the year. The company now also offers educational benefits, such as reimbursement of tuition fees, as an additional incentive to work there.
Restaurants aren’t the only ones struggling to find workers. The September Jobs Report found that 51% of small business owners have positions they can’t fill.