Restaurant industry adds thousands of new jobs, struggles to hire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The hospitality industry, including restaurants and bars, added about 280,000 jobs in the latest jobs report.

It was one of the standout industries in the report, however, many restaurants say they’re struggling to hire.

Uptown Kitchen & Bar in Springfield had dinner services before the shutdown last year.

Since then they have had to scale back and are currently only open for breakfast, brunch and lunch.

Business at the restaurant is now roaring back and the restaurant is looking to bring back dinner services, but needs the staff to pull it off.

Misty Exley, the general manager, said they are hiring and have ads posted on several sites, but they’re struggling to bring in new hires.

”We’re doing better than we’ve ever done before. We just have to have the staff to do that — and that’s the struggle,” she said.

“A lot of people have left the industry and are doing something different now, so it’s hard to get a dedicated team member.”

She said unemployment benefits, which last through April, and COVID-19 concerns are also keeping some from the job search.

Uptown is not the only restaurant hiring but struggling to bring in interviews. Action News Jax also spoke with the Bearded Pig, which is even offering a signing bonus (https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/investigates/investigates-restaurant-hospitality-staffing-struggle-could-be-unemployment-benefits/4AUPCULABFDJVCKBXUAUMX4TBA/).

Exley said she’s currently operating with one shift and needs more staff to open dinner services. The restaurant is hiring:

  • Line cooks
  • Bussers
  • Server assistants
  • Hosts

You can apply by sending your references and resume or job history to uptownkitchengm@gmail.com.

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