Unemployment rates have dropped but some NC restaurants are having trouble filling positions

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Everyone is juggling multiple roles at VIENI Ristobar in Holly Springs and that’s because they’re down almost a handful of employees.

“We’ll have a server that has to answer the phone for to go’s when he’s walking by. If we don’t have a busser that night the server might have to bus their own table,” explained Samantha Cinelli. She’s responsible for all the hiring for VIENI. She said things have been tough.

“It’s hard to tell somebody, I’m sorry we can’t seat you right now and there’s a 10 to 15-minute wait. And they’re like, there’s a table right there,” said Cinelli as she pointed to an empty table.

In this pandemic, restaurant owners would welcome the demand and the ability to bring in more customers, but the human resources specialist said it’s just not enough staff to handle the demand.

But recent numbers released by the U.S. Department of Labor shows a different side of the job front. It points to the first bright spot since the pandemic. It shows the number of people applying for unemployment benefits is down by nearly 200,000.

In North Carolina, during the same time period, the number of applicants dropped about 200 applicants.

But Cinelli wants to know where are the job seekers in the restaurant industry.

“I post job postings online and I also look to see who is posting and I’m seeing 30, 40 other companies, and every day they’re adding more.”

According to the Bureau of Labor, Statistics industries seeing major job gains are construction, education, and hospitality.

About 176,000 jobs last month were in food service.

VIENI RistoBar wants to add to the growing list in the restaurant industry. They’re looking to hire a full-time Bartender, server, and someone to work in the kitchen. “We’re hoping to stay optimistic. That’s all you can hope for,” continued Cinelli.

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