Northland hospitality industry weighs in on labor shortage | www.WDIO.com

Northland hospitality industry weighs in on labor shortage

Emily Ness
Updated: June 01, 2021 08:21 PM
Created: June 01, 2021 03:42 PM

The country is coming back from the pandemic with all eyes are on the economy as the nation experiences a shortage of workers. In the Northland, its hitting close to home.

Clyde Iron Works was closed over Memorial Day weekend, due to the shortage. While, Shorty's Pizza and Smoked meat announced Tuesday that they would be permanently closing for lack of staff.

In a Facebook post, Shorty's said: "We came to the conclusion that if we can't give you the level of service that you expect and deserve, then closing would be our best option."

Brian Daugherty, President of grandma's restaurant believes there are many reasons for the shortage.

“Number one, it stopped and started a number of times last year," Daugherty said. “Number two, I think some people—a smaller fraction are still a little nervous about working with the public for health reasons and I think number three, there's no incentive to work right now. There's almost a disincentive right now with this federal subsidy to unemployment.”

As a result, Daugherty said they have scaled back operations at Grandma's Ice Cream Box car and Bellisio's Italian restaurant down the street. They are also looking to ramp up employment at their new venue, The Garden, to pull off events and weddings this summer.

“We could open broader and longer if we had more people. No doubt about it,” Daugherty said.

Dave Hoops, Owner of Hoops Bar and Grill, said he has also seen a shortage of workers within the hospitality industry.

“I do know that it’s real—the shortage in labor because many of my colleagues are struggling. Certain places that I know have closed on Sunday's and Monday's, for example, because they can't staff their kitchen,” Hoops said.

With a busy summer ahead, Hoops hopes to see the hospitality industry hire more people to keep up with the demand.

“People really want to get out and Memorial Day weekend was a really good indicator of that,” Hoops said.

Over at Pizza Luce, Paige Doty, the manager said hiring has been difficult, specifically for cooks.

She believes this is because many employees got jobs elsewhere when bars and restaurants initially closed.

In addition to a worker shortage, the hospitality industry has been hit by a rise in operational costs, including the cost of getting supplies delivered because of an increase in gas prices.

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Emily Ness

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