WAUKESHA, Wisconsin. – Hours are being waived at some restaurants in Southeastern Wisconsin, while others are closing completely due to understaffing. In Waukesha, a business owner said he was increasing wages and still couldn’t fill vacancies.
The owner at The Neighbors Bar & Grill in Waukesha said he had been looking for cooks for a year, and even after increasing the starting salary, he was unlucky in finding employees.
“Right now, for us, it’s our kitchen,” said owner Chris Potratz. “This is our main concern.
Staff shortages are causing a big change at the restaurant. Potratz said he was forced to stop offering most of the menu items two hours earlier because he couldn’t have cooks in the kitchen.
“We are not closing our doors,” he said. “There are no worries there, but try to soften the blow a lot.”
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Potratz blames the federal unemployment benefit of $ 300 per week, something the Wisconsin legislature debated on Wednesday, June 9, as the reason potential employees don’t want to work.
“Our leaders really need to reconnect with the owner of the small business,” said Potratz. “It feels like we’re not being taken care of.”
The results of a National Association of Restaurateurs An April survey found that 83% of restaurant owners in Wisconsin have hard-to-fill job openings. It brought the Ponderosa to a standstill in Hartford, where hours were cut in May and officials just announced it will shut down permanently due to a staff shortage.
“There aren’t enough workers, and you look around and see the ‘hire now’ signs,” Potratz said. “Everyone is looking for people.
Potratz said he had increased his salary as a line cook by up to $ 3 an hour from pre-pandemic salaries. The position now starts between $ 16 and $ 19 an hour, with a dollar an hour bonus after learning the menu, but still no bite to eat.
“It’s the worst I have ever seen,” said Potratz.
Potratz said they normally have around five people cooking on weekends. This has since been cut in half. He expects changes to cooking hours to stay in place at least until the end of June.