SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Good weather helped draw people to fill restaurants and bars in San Francisco on 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 Outer Richmond. This is the first week that her bar has been fully open and the back dining area is now partially open.
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“It’s been a slow trickle,” said Scott Chilcutt, managing partner of Aziza and Mourad. “It certainly wasn’t like the floodgates were opening and people were running back to work. We’ve seen some movement and again we’ve really gotten out of the way and brought people back and we have a high school kid working here – that doesn’t normally happen so – we have to show a bit of creativity.
Aziza says they are now open five days a week. They were open every day of the week before the pandemic.
They are also not able to start the brunch service at the moment because they don’t have enough workers.
To attract employees, they are offering a raise for back-of-the-house positions like cooks and dishwashers.
“But it also means higher prices and that comes on top of rising food costs as our product costs more to enter with delivery shortages and supply chain demand. Everything is more expensive for us,” Chilcutt said.
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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 always impresses me, because I know it’s hard in this environment to find the right people and keep them,” Krause said. “And so the people who show up, when they come in with a smile on their face and you can tell they’re doing their best, that’s something we all always appreciate.”
“I just feel like they’re under tremendous stress and pressure to make it an enjoyable experience for diners to come back to,” said San Francisco diner Vivienne Leibowich.
This week, the Department of Labor said 4.3 million Americans left their jobs during the month of August. This is the highest dropout rate ever recorded.
“It’s frustrating for us to hear someone say, no, I don’t know if I want this job. I could expect something better,” said Eugene Lupario, founder of investment firm SVS Group.
He says that right now the employees hold all the cards.
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“And so, they’re finding out, and employers are adapting to this ever-changing market,” Lupario said. And that’s really what’s happening. It’s an ongoing development that could forever change the way we view the employer-employee relationship.