Kansas City-Area Restaurants Struggle with Staffing as Business Recovers |

Kansas City-Area Restaurants Struggle with Staffing as Business Recovers |

Palmgren owns the restaurant and fills in for every position there is here a lot more than usual lately. “I’m kind of fortunate this last week, I actually hired four employees. But we are still needing probably eight to ten different employees for the summer and coming up for the patio reopening,” owner Bob Palmgren said.

“It’s hard to get people in here. I mean we go through six or seven different agencies trying to get people in here,” he said. Another reason is the that the pool for qualified workers seems small compared to the number of open jobs.

“They can make more money sitting at home not doing anything then they can actually making it working,” Palmgren said. Indeed.com lists more than 3,000 restaurants positions in the Kansas City area from servers, to cooks, to bartenders, dishwashers and managers.

One is the fact that many people get a similar income while unemployment. There several reasons for the staffing shortage.

With how unstable the restaurant industry became during the pandemic, Palmgren believes many people found jobs in other industries. “Plus, a lot of people have changed over and go to Amazon or other jobs that are open,” Palmgren said.

“I’m nervous about the weddings and things and finding people,” Palmgren said. Carry-out is still the big at the restaurant, but dine-in is picking up too. Soon, the back patio will open for live music. RJ’s also does catering for big events and weddings, which are also picking up post-pandemic. Another reason, is the fact many people simply aren’t comfortable working in a job that requires being around so many people.

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