Restaurant Owner Hoping to See More Applicants Following Expiring Unemployment Benefits
NORTHRIDGE, CA - The California Restaurant Association says it has never been more difficult for restaurants and small businesses to find employees. Restaurants that were once hoping to see customers make their return amidst the COVID-19 pandemic are now struggling to keep up with demand due to lack of staff. Restaurant owner Brent Peskin is dealing with this issue firsthand. He owns "Brent's Deli", and says that everyone from restaurant managers to supply companies are dealing with a staffing shortage.
"We're open for three hours less every day, and on Mondays we have to close early. That's all due to staffing," says Peskin.
Owners and employees aren't the only people noticing employee shortages. Kevin Marquez visits Brent's occasionally with his family for brunch. He says it's not hard to see the way employees have to scramble to put eggs on every table, and endure the chaotic lunch rush.
"Times are tough for every industry when it comes to finding employees. I know that taking care of your family, and different unemployment benefits going around right now are keeping people at home, so I don't have a problem waiting a bit longer for food. The employees here are working hard," says Marquez.
Unemployment rates were lower in September in 27 states and the District of Columbia, higher in 1 state, and stable in 22 states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 48 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and two states were little changed. The national unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 4.8%. California Governor Gavin Newsom says 450,000 new jobs have been created in California in the restaurant and hotel industry this year.
During the beginning of the pandemic, Peskin and his team relied heavily on third-party delivery services, like DoorDash and GrubHub to get orders out to customers.
Now, the dining room is packed at his restaurant from 8 in the morning to 9 at night, but Peskin isn't in the clear yet. He says his vendors don't have the manpower to provide him with some products. Peskin uses seven different styles of glass plates, and a new brand of grape jelly every other week because that is all that is available.
The California Restaurant Association says that federal unemployment benefits have played a major factor in keeping workers at home. Although many Americans are still waiting for those extra funds to make it into their accounts, federal funding for unemployment benefits has ended as of September 4.
The California Restaurant Association says a lack of unemployment benefits will not be a problem though, as new services and "employee marketplaces" have been implemented to provide resources and perks to restaurant employees entering or reentering the field.
Video Credit: ABC News
Video Credit: Jonathan Giovanazzi
By: Jonathan Giovanazzi With Contributions From: ABC News, KTLA, L.A. Eater, Spectrum News, The California Restaurant Association Video: ABC News, Jonathan Giovanazzi Photo: L.A. Eater EDUCATE YOURSELF Federal Unemployment Benefits End State Employment and Unemployment Summary Restaurant Labor Crisis Resources for the California Restaurant Community Brent's Deli, an L.A. Classic