Restaurants face hiring crunch amid pandemic struggles

COVID-19 cases may be down, but the pandemic is still posing challenges for restaurants.
Restaurants that are already struggling with COVID-19 are now facing a hiring crunch as service picks up.
The owner of The Greekish in Nyack tells News 12 he’s now paying more to employees to find them – and keep them.
“This has been the worst I’ve seen it in a long time. We’re want either employees to come back or a new pool of employees to come in," says Constantine Kalandranis, owner of The Greekish.
“Instead of paying a minimum wage to the service team, we tripled their salary, took away gratuity and have a bonus program so they don’t get hurt when the day is slower," says Kalandranis.
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Over in New City, the owners of Norcina describe the current applicant pool as a drought for both the front and back of the house.
“Now it's just pretty much nonexistent of applicants. It's just hard to find some help," says Nicholas Nuccio, co-owner of Norcina New City.
The New York Restaurant Association tells News 12 it’s the latest hurdle being seen not just statewide, but nationwide.
“This is a problem they’re facing and they’re all looking for staffing to hire people back but can’t find anybody," says Melissa Fleischut, president of the NYRA.
The association believes that it is due to several reasons, including workers leaving the industry, people making more on unemployment, or fears that returning to work is risky.
They are asking patrons for patience as the industry bounces back to normal.