CHARLOTTE, NC – Restaurant workers are leaving the industry in droves. Charlotte area restaurants are working on ways to recruit new employees and keep them motivated.
It’s nearing the dinner rush at Ilios Crafted Greek in South End and business is going well. Sales are up. But operations are struggling to hang on.
“How business is going as far as operating. It’s more of a challenge nowadays,” said Frank Kaltsounis.
He is an Ilios Crafted Greek owner. He says they’re low on staff and it’s difficult to find more.
“When it comes to finding new ones, it’s really tough right now. Because obviously there is holes,” said Kaltsounis.
He isn’t alone. Across the county nearly 900,000 people left the hospitality industry in August, according to a Moodys report.
Full service restaurants are running the kitchen with an average of 6.2 fewer employees than compared to 2019. And 2.8 fewer front of the house employees.
“I think that the restaurant industry is going to realize that they’re going to have to change some things when it comes to their total rewards package,” said Becky Drozdz.
She is with Catapult, a Charlotte area employers association. She says people aren’t sitting at home, but rather leaving in search of better hours, benefits, and pay.
“Instead of looking for just a job that will pay me today, people are looking for careers,” said Drozdz.
She says restaurant owners will have to focus on company culture, pay increases and health benefits in order to attract more employees.
“Look for ways to innovate our business and keep our staff engaged and motivated and incentivized,” said Kaltsounis.
Kaltsounis says he’s big on work life balance and hopes that will land him new hires.
“Just keep trying to find more people and just build the culture within to make it a place that people want to stay and work,” said Kaltsounis.