Restaurants say goodbye to student workers, and hello to another issue in the worker shortage

DELMARVA- Restaurants are no strangers to the time of year where they lose younger workers who are headed back to high school and college. However, when you’re depending on those workers when there’s already a shortage, the loss can cut pretty deep. “I don’t know how it’s going to end, I don’t know why it’s dragging it on this long,” says owner of Adam’s Taphouse Grille, Peter Roskovich. Steve Montgomery, owner of Starboard Restaurant adds, “We had the summer college kids in here in full force, that was great but now it’s going into the last week in August and guess where they are, they’re all back in school.”

Restaurants in Delaware and Maryland both are saying goodbye to some workers, and hello to new problems again. “We’re just continuing trying to hire,” says Roskovich. He adds, “We have to bring in new staff in sometimes and train them and sometimes they’re not perfect like the other staff that was.”

Now restaurant owners are trying to get creative, between Salisbury University students and people who live in Ocean City for the summer and now returning home, they say they might be able to get by.

However those in the restaurant industry tell us, that can be unpredictable. “This past summer we didn’t know what to expect, when to open, we didn’t know anything so everything was kind of a guess,” says Montgomery. However, Montgomery tells us, fall of 2020 was actually one of their busiest times, giving him some optimism for this year.  “So for that reason, we are trying to staff up and be ready for the best to come in the fall.”

Others tell 47 ABC, when you lose almost half of your staff heading into a busy fall season, you still have to stay on your toes. “When we start losing people and have to gain people, you need bodies on the floor, so you have to try to train them as quick as you can,” says Roskovich.

All in all, restaurants say they’re just trying to survive, and get back on their feet. “The Flu is never going to go away, COVID is never going to go away, we just have to live with it. So we just have to get back to normal,” adds Roskovich.

Montgomery also says,  if you’ve ever considered working in the industry, now might be the best time to do it. He says that’s because owners are so desperate to hire and people are starting to eat out more than they have over the past year and a half.

Categories: Business, Delaware, Local News, Maryland