- A restaurant consultant told The AP she had to hire people with bad attitudes to fill roles.
- But rude staff members scared away customers, the consultant said.
- US restaurants are going to extreme lengths to fill vacancies amid a hospitality-worker shortage.
A restaurant manager in northern Virginia was so desperate for staff that she said she had to employ rude people who scared off customers, The Associated Press reported on Thursday.
It’s one of the latest example of US employers having to rethink their recruitment requirements amid a nationwide shortage in hospitality workers.
In response, many restaurants have raised their minimum pay, offered free food to applicants, and begun to hire young teens.
The AP reported that Sarah White, a restaurant consultant who works as an area manager the Lost Dog Cafe in northern Virginia, said she had to hire people with bad attitudes to fill job vacancies.
But the rude employees have deterred customers, White said.
“We don’t have anyone to wait on them, but we are also losing them because they get service, but it’s from someone that I wouldn’t want serving them,” she told The AP.
When the pandemic struck last year, the Lost Dog Cafe lost staff, may of whom had worked there for 10 years, The AP reported. By May, the company’s wait staff was about 20% down, The AP said.
As it struggled to fill those roles, the Lost Dog Cafe began hiring people without any restaurant experience and employing people under the age of 18 for the first time, according to The AP’s report. Some also turned out to be great hires, White said.
“Now, we are getting people we wouldn’t have hired before. And they have been some of the most amazing employees,” White told The AP. “It would have been our loss.”
The Lost Dog Cafe did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In a survey of about 13,000 job seekers conducted by Joblist in July, about one-third of former restaurant and hotel staff said they wouldn’t return to the hospitality industry. Hospitality workers polled said they were discouraged by the low pay, bad benefits, and stressful working environment.