Kansas City-area restaurants struggle to find workers as business picks up

Kansas City-area restaurants struggle to find workers as business picks up


Kansas City-area restaurants say sales keep increasing but they can’t find workers.Hiring signs are all over the metro. Customers have come back to restaurants, but finding workers has been a challenge.”You just can’t seem to catch up on staffing,” said Steve Sinnott, of Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina.At Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, they’re advertising online, offering employees $150 for referrals, and they’ve increased wages.”Everybody’s thinking outside the box. Anything you can do because our objective is to give everyone great service just like everyone else,” Sinnott said.He said they would hire 34 more workers today if they could find them.”To find restaurant people has been really hard,” said Cindy McClain, of the McClain Restaurant Group.McClain owns 10 different food restaurants at the Independence Square. She said the worker shortage in caused mostly by money from Congress.”Some of it is just being able to sit on unemployment a little longer. Some of it is the stimulus checks. Some of it is the feeling of safety because a restaurant is a very public place,” McClain said.During the pandemic, she said that some managers left the business after experiencing weekends off and working regular hours.”This competing with chains and the wage is insane,” McClain said.Chipotle said that it is increasing its average wage to $15 an hour. If workers move up the chain, they could potentially make six figures in less than four years.Businesses are doing what they can, but it feels like the workers haven’t yet responded.”We’re family-owned. We like to have fun. We like to make money and we like to give great service. I think it’s an awesome place to work, I’ve been here 16 years with the company,” Sinnott said.

Kansas City-area restaurants say sales keep increasing but they can’t find workers.
Hiring signs are all over the metro. Customers have come back to restaurants, but finding workers has been a challenge.

“You just can’t seem to catch up on staffing,” said Steve Sinnott, of Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina.

At Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, they’re advertising online, offering employees $150 for referrals, and they’ve increased wages.

“Everybody’s thinking outside the box. Anything you can do because our objective is to give everyone great service just like everyone else,” Sinnott said.

He said they would hire 34 more workers today if they could find them.

“To find restaurant people has been really hard,” said Cindy McClain, of the McClain Restaurant Group.

McClain owns 10 different food restaurants at the Independence Square. She said the worker shortage in caused mostly by money from Congress.

“Some of it is just being able to sit on unemployment a little longer. Some of it is the stimulus checks. Some of it is the feeling of safety because a restaurant is a very public place,” McClain said.

During the pandemic, she said that some managers left the business after experiencing weekends off and working regular hours.

“This competing with chains and the wage is insane,” McClain said.

Chipotle said that it is increasing its average wage to $15 an hour. If workers move up the chain, they could potentially make six figures in less than four years.

Businesses are doing what they can, but it feels like the workers haven’t yet responded.

“We’re family-owned. We like to have fun. We like to make money and we like to give great service. I think it’s an awesome place to work, I’ve been here 16 years with the company,” Sinnott said.


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