PUEBLO — Even months after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, restaurants everywhere are still struggling to hire experienced employees.
"I think it’s the unemployment… People not wanting to come off of unemployment," said 25-year old Tobi Martinez, who has been a waitress for roughly the past five years.
"All of the younger people are so eager to work and ready to go," said Martinez. She says 1129 Spirits and Eatery usually has an older and more experienced staff, but lately, they have only been able to hire younger people, like high school students who are now out for summer vacation.
“It’s been a little bit of a challenge. We have a lot of people who haven’t worked in a restaurant before, so just trying to get a new team trained and ready to go. It’s been a little harder.”
One customer was stopping in Pueblo on a family vacation and agreed, “We’re noticing a lot of younger people working”.
“There’s been places, even on this trip, where we’ve eaten and there’s only one staff member for the whole restaurant.”
Most restaurants agree that some customers have come in and grown upset when service is not what they are used to. However, they say the reasoning is because they are so short-staffed.
“They don’t understand why the kitchen is running so long, or why it can be hard to get food or drinks out. We struggle with… We have so many tables, but not enough servers to get them sat, so we have the people getting mad that they see all of these tables and we can’t sit them there," said Martinez.
The customer told News 5 that if you want to go out to eat, you should "Be patient, but also if you have those expectations that you need to eat dinner faster, then maybe say to the waitstaff… I’m under a certain time constraint".
1129 is still actively hiring, as well as:
- Dee Tako
- Solar Roast Coffee Company
- Grind Haus Coffee
- Jimmy John's
- Gypsy Javas
- Burger King
If you know of any other restaurants to add to this list, please reach out.