STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- If you need a job, local restaurants are hiring. Owners and managers are looking for workers who can start right away. For wait staff and kitchen staff, the pandemic cut restaurant jobs to a minimum forcing a lot of people to turn to unemployment. That has, now, turned out to be where some of those former workers are choosing to stay. With fewer co-workers, employees on the floor and in the kitchen are having to do what they can to help.
“With the bulldog weekend and football season coming in It gets kind of hard sometimes but you know as being a close-knit family and working together we most definitely do what we have to do here to keep the business going,” said Georgia Blue employee Vashaun Ferguson.
Some restaurants have been forced to limit occupancy. Leaving customers questioning why?
“Here and at other restaurants, you may see empty tables and they’ll tell you we have a 30-45 minute wait well you’re looking at empty tables it’s kind of frustrating but we don’t have anybody to serve you at that table,” said Georgia Blue owner Cameron Parker.
Parker said the pandemic slowed their business in the beginning, but with eased restrictions, they’re now having a tough time keeping up.
“We had a drastic decrease in labor when corona hit and we were pretty much at 70 percent occupancy the whole time so we didn’t need the wait staff.. what we had as far as what we could serve we had the staff for it. Now that we’re open 100 percent we can’t get any more staff,” said Parker.
Parker along with his wife and daughter are stepping in and taking on shifts at Chicken Salad Chick each day. His wife Dianna knew they would face challenges because most of their employees are in school.
“A lot of our staff are students and they’re going through exams right now, and it’s hard for them to make the money they need to pay their bills you know and they have other resources so they’re using those resources rather than working,” said Chicken Salad Chick operator Dianna Parker.
Leaning on government assistance may be more beneficial for some.
“It’s a business decision really I mean if you can come in and wash dishes for $7.50 an hour or you can stay at home and get 600 dollars a week the better business decision is to stay at home and make 600 dollars a week while you can,” said Parker.
There may be a shortage of staff but Parker is all in to serve the community.
“We’re all hands in right now to serve our customers and give them the best experience we can,” said Parker.
Parker said they encourage those that are looking for a job to apply at either Georgia Blue or Chicken salad chick all positions are available.