Iowa restaurants still struggle to find employees

“Between all our properties, we were looking for 100 employees,” said Paul Rottenberg, co-owner of Centro.If you’ve noticed more help wanted signs in the windows of businesses, you’re not alone.The need for more employees is all too real for Rottenberg, who co-owns five metro restaurants including Centro.”We’re closed some extra […]

“Between all our properties, we were looking for 100 employees,” said Paul Rottenberg, co-owner of Centro.If you’ve noticed more help wanted signs in the windows of businesses, you’re not alone.The need for more employees is all too real for Rottenberg, who co-owns five metro restaurants including Centro.”We’re closed some extra days during the week. A few of our places have patios, a couple of them, pretty large patios. We’re not able to staff both inside the restaurant and the patio,” Rottenberg said.Pre-COVID-19, downtown eateries were bustling with hungry workers, especially during lunchtime.Many of those employees are still working from home and some of those food industry workers never came back.”We are still in a position where half the restaurants in the state of Iowa are having to do something other than operate normally and it’s completely related to workforce,” explains Jessica Dunker, with the Iowa Restaurants Association.Dunker says there’s many contributing factors to the lack of workforce from employees just not coming back to less students working in the food industry.It’s a problem that’s not getting any better and she says this change in the status quo will ultimately change the way many restaurants do business moving forward.”More restaurants will size down the footprint in our restaurant. They just won’t have as many tables available ever again. They will really size that down and do an emphasis on carry out/ delivery,” she said.

“Between all our properties, we were looking for 100 employees,” said Paul Rottenberg, co-owner of Centro.

If you’ve noticed more help wanted signs in the windows of businesses, you’re not alone.

The need for more employees is all too real for Rottenberg, who co-owns five metro restaurants including Centro.

“We’re closed some extra days during the week. A few of our places have patios, a couple of them, pretty large patios. We’re not able to staff both inside the restaurant and the patio,” Rottenberg said.

Pre-COVID-19, downtown eateries were bustling with hungry workers, especially during lunchtime.

Many of those employees are still working from home and some of those food industry workers never came back.

“We are still in a position where half the restaurants in the state of Iowa are having to do something other than operate normally and it’s completely related to workforce,” explains Jessica Dunker, with the Iowa Restaurants Association.

Dunker says there’s many contributing factors to the lack of workforce from employees just not coming back to less students working in the food industry.

It’s a problem that’s not getting any better and she says this change in the status quo will ultimately change the way many restaurants do business moving forward.

“More restaurants will size down the footprint in our restaurant. They just won’t have as many tables available ever again. They will really size that down and do an emphasis on carry out/ delivery,” she said.

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