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Labor shortage causing problems for Sioux Falls restaurant industry

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 10:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Restaurants across the nation have been dealing with a worker shortage for the last few months.

According to the National Restaurant Association, more than half of all sit-down restaurants have staffing levels that are about 20% below normal.

Many Sioux Falls restaurant owners have been forced to take action, to help the strain on the workers they do have.

“I have shortened my hours a little bit, I haven’t fully put my tables out, just to relieve stress, because summer is our busiest time,” said Jayme Mothershead, co-owner of Mama’s Ladas.

At Minerva’s, the outdoor patio area hasn’t been put out yet, to help keep servers from having too many customers.

Other restaurants have shortened hours or have taken extra days off, which is making other short-staffed restaurants work even harder.

“You know having the other restaurants not open, an influx goes into other restaurants that are open and they’re short-staffed, so it’s just kind of that snowball, where you can’t win but you got to try,” said Mothershead.

Many restaurants have been searching awhile for help.

“We’ve been trying to hire a good cook and good waitress for the last year and a half,” said Alex Andersen, owner of Crack’d Pot Restaurant and Bakery. “Obviously we haven’t been able to do that, so between me and our opening cook, we’ve been working about 130 hours between the two of us a week.”

Nationally, it has been reported that the poor working conditions and low pay are some of the reasons for the restaurant worker shortage.

Andersen says he has seen a problem with people wanting to work, after not working for so long.

“I’ve scheduled exactly 18 interviews in the last month and only one person showed up for the interview,” said Andersen.

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