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Worker Shortage Lingers As San Francisco Restaurants Attempt To Recover From COVID Fiscal Woes – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The beautiful weather helped draw people out to fill up restaurants and bars in San Francisco Saturday night, but while the demand is there, the supply of workers is not.

It’s one of the busiest nights of the week for Moroccan restaurant Aziza in the Outer Richmond. This is the first week its bar is fully open, and the back dining room is now partially open.

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“It’s been a slow trickle,” said Aziza and Mourad Managing Partner Scott Chilcutt. “It definitely wasn’t like the floodgates opened and people were running back to work. We had seen some movement and again we’ve really kind of gone outside the box and taken some people back in and we have a high schooler working here – that normally doesn’t happen so – we got to get a little creative.”

Aziza says they’re now open five days a week. They were open everyday of the week pre-pandemic.

They’re also not able to start brunch service yet, because they don’t have enough workers.

To attract employees, they are offering increased pay for back of the house positions like cooks and dishwashers.

“But it also means increased prices and that’s on top of food costs going up, because our product costs more to get in with shortages in delivery and the supply chain demand. Everything is more expensive for us,” said Chilcutt.

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Mountain View resident Steve Krause wants to support the restaurant community as it gets back on its feet.

“It’s something that I’m always impressed, because I know that it’s difficult in this environment to be able to find the right people and to keep people,” Krause said. “And so the folks that do show up, when they come up with a smile on their face and you can tell they’re doing their best, it’s something that all of us always appreciate.”

“I just feel like they’re under tremendous stress and pressure to make it an enjoyable experience for diners to come back,” said Vivienne Leibowich, a diner from San Francisco.

This week, the labor department said 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs during the month of August. It’s the single highest quitting rate on record.

“It’s frustrating for us to hear somebody say, nah, I don’t know if I want that job. I might wait for something better,” said Eugene Lupario, Founder of work placement firm SVS Group.

He says right now the employees hold all the cards.

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“And so, they are figuring it out and employers are adapting to this ever-changing marketplace,” Lupario said. ” And that’s really what’s happening. It’s an evolution that’s taking place that may forever change the way we look at the employer-employee relationship.”

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