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Local restaurants struggle to find employees as Michigan reopens

restaurant worker shortage
Old Nation Brewing Co.
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 09:31:42-04

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — This summer restaurants will have more people filling their tables as restaurants are back to full capacity; however, some restaurants are struggling to find staff.

Travis Fritts, owner of Old Nation Brewery

"It's difficult to hire staff now, even at a pretty decent wage. It's just hard to find people to come in and work the restaurant," said the owner of Old Nation Brewery, Travis Fritts.

For Old Nation, they've been experiencing attrition since March 2020.

For Old Nation, they've been experiencing attrition since March 2020.

"We've gotten a lot of interviews scheduled. And then the individual tends not to show up, that happens more much more often than people actually coming in for the interviews that they set up," said Fritts.

Old Nation has been focusing on the brewery side of their restaurant and curbside pickup. They plan to open in mid-August or early September.

Old Nation has been focusing on the brewery side of their restaurant and curbside pickup. They plan to open in mid-August or early September.

"What's hardest is not necessarily handling the business we have now. But understanding that as much as we want to open the pub and even just to hang out with people and have a beer, we just can't right now," Fritts said.

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While staffing is an issue for some, it's a different story for Saddleback BBQ.

While staffing is an issue for some, it's a different story for Saddleback BBQ.

"Hiring has been challenging, but one of the ways that we've addressed it is by one thing is switching from more of a formal interview process to more of a job fair-style hiring process," said Travis Stoliker, owner.

Saddleback knows other restaurants haven't been as lucky finding staff, but their mission is to help out in the best way they can.

Stoiliker said, "My co-owner Matt Gillett did on his own behalf was he posted a thing to Facebook, volunteering to help any local restaurant that needed his services without him being compensated."

Saddleback is willing to help other businesses create job fairs, advertise positions, and even send a few of their employees to help if needed.

Saddleback is willing to help other businesses create job fairs, advertise positions, and even send a few of their employees to help if needed.

"This is all about community, especially when you're facing such a challenge, as we all have in the last 15 months, we can only survive together."

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Mikayla Temple

Mikayla Temple

1:39 PM, Jan 05, 2021

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Mikayla Temple

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