The anemic federal jobs report announced earlier this week was brought close to home by restaurant owners in Escondido who say they can’t recruit workers as the world opens up and people start to go out again to eat. They find that they compete with ongoing payments from federal and state governments for employees.
A restaurateur who owns many restaurants in a chain, including some in Escondido, said The Times-Advocate that the reopening of its restaurants as a “normal” business is hampered by the fact that so many people who would normally work in a restaurant do not want to return to work because they perceive as much unemployment from the state and federal governments as they do. would if they worked.
Another problem, he said, is that his restaurants – and others he knows – aren’t getting as many produce as they need because many truckers haven’t returned to work. Some may not return until unemployment benefits run out in September. This means that restaurants are often on the verge of running out of certain foods.
âMy staff are also under enormous pressure as they cover multiple jobs,â he said. âThis is detrimental to our service to our customers and leads to many customer complaints regarding food and service.â The owner said he offered bonuses for workers to return to work and other incentives, but not as successful as he would like.
Louisa Magoon, owner of the Grand Tea Room, recounted The Times-Advocate: âYes, I heard the same thing. I have two employees who did not return to work because they said they were afraid of COVID. We all are, but we have to get back to work. I heard the same thing that they are not motivated because their unemployment benefits are enough for them.
Do not respond to demand
Pauline Gordy, owner of CSL Staffing in Escondido, is alarmed by the unprecedented job market. âIt’s a very interesting time,â she said. The Times-Advocate. His staffing business responds to job applications for many clients, not for one particular industry. âWe do all of this,â she said. âI have clients who are independent, medical call centers, you name it. We also have jobs in everything from janitorial, warehousing, social media to account managers. We are crossing the gap between entry level and intermediate level. “
With over 300 pending orders from North County businesses: “We can’t have enough people to fill them.” Each week they complete five to ten fills while they average 20 to 30.
âPeople go through the movements,â she says. “At the low end, they should earn at least $ 20 to get them off the couch.” It offers incentives to get them off the couch, including medical insurance, child care insurance and critical illness insurance.
âSo we’re trying to understand the market,â Gordy said. âWe recognize that child care is an issue, so I partnered up with Tootris, a child care provider and purchased memberships for my employees where someone will contact them and match them to. affordable child care. â
Some people say they can’t go back to work. Another issue, Gordy said, is with people who have left California because of the cost of living. âThey don’t want a job unless it’s far away. They want to get wages in California and pay taxes in another state, âshe said.
Restaurants have been “hit so hard by this,” she said. âMany have been closed for thirteen months and now they cannot get their people back. They pay minimum wage and compensate with tips and people are not ready to get out of unemployment. No one really said those words, but that’s my perception of what’s going on. She deduces it from the lack of candidates.
Through the pandemic, she says, âIn fact, we did very well because in the beginning there were only essential companies. We have seen some of our clients having to shut down and the ones that were essential thrived and they were able to stay open. Other warehouses had to close. You have seen the demand increase in one and decrease in others. But we could have workers.
She did not see the current “drought” of workers coming. âWe don’t have workers available. Nothing. I tell them I will do whatever I can and use all of our platforms, but the reality is. . . My costs have skyrocketed because I have to work doubly hard on advertising and people on the street to talk to people. “
They visit the Escondido Swap Meet. They participate in job fairs. âWe’re really going back to basics,â Gordy said. âThe tools just aren’t penetrating. I’m really scared to see it could last until September if nothing changes. These businesses want to get back on track, but many cannot stay longer. If we cannot supply them with manpower, they cannot meet the demand. “
Chambers job fairs
James Rowten, CEO of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, supported these sentiments. âYes, we’ve received many of the same comments about hiring,â he told The Times-Advocate. “So many in fact that we will be having three career fairs starting this month, so on Thursday May 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. we are having a career fair which will be a hybrid job fair. in person with gifts, a food truck and representatives from a multitude of local businesses.
Rowten added, âApplicants will have the opportunity to meet recruiting staff from various employers who are looking to fill jobs immediately. And these are not all minimum wage positions. “
Alex MacLachlan, President of the Escondido Downtown Business Association, commented, âYes, I have heard a lot of similar anecdotes from business owners and people in leadership positions in several states. They continue to offer more dollars per hour and that is still not enough to get people out of unemployment. “
He added, âThe other night we had a friend who is the general manager of a luxury spa and country club in the area. He kept complimenting me on my service skills until I said, “Are you so desperate for help that you are trying to ask me to work for you?” He said, “You’ve got a heartbeat, haven’t you? “
Regarding businesses along Grand Avenue: âI think a lot of downtown business owners have secured loans and things to keep skeletal staff on hand and are adding as restrictions are lifted. , but bigger companies like Barrel Republic have hung Now Hiring banners since their staffing needs may be a bit greater as a newly opened Grand Avenue business. “