A Shortage in the Restaurant Industry

There are so many theories around the worker shortage in the restaurant industry. One is that restaurant workers make more money staying home right now, so why run back to work? Perhaps that is true, but that will be short-lived. At one point, the cash will dry up, and work does give each of us a daily purpose whether we like the purpose or not.

The other theory is that people in the industry have taken a big step back during COVID with no choice. That has given them all a bit of rest to realize that they need a better life balance. Others have started food businesses that are more in line with their own desires. Baking bread from your own kitchen and delivering it to the local community must be insanely rewarding on multiple fronts. That won’t work for everyone.

People in the restaurant world work insanely hard. Someone once said to me that you have to love it because there is no reason to like it. Many of the people behind the engine of any place that serves food are not necessarily citizens of our country. The amount of people from other countries that come here to work is huge. Some come for the winter, like the ski instructors who move from South America for the season and return in the off-season when it is winter back home, like Chile. Many come to be camp counselors. Many come for a summer job. Thanks to Trump, those people stopped coming.

Is there any data around how many people who have fueled restaurants have been deported even though they have lived here for years? My theory is a bit different. I believe that the systematic deportation of too many hard-working people who never got a green card service a big piece of the restaurant and hospitality world. Store owners are also complaining that they can’t find people to work for them. It is a mix of poor Government policy and fewer high school and college students working during those years.

Our country has always been fueled by the hard-working people who come here for a better life. Many work multiple jobs to create a better life for their children. They are the foundation of our workforce. Having their children grow up with an education and become working members of society is one of the most important and unique ways of how our country operates.

Trump stopped the cycle. It will eventually return, and it should full force, but in the meantime, we will begin to see a bigger shortage of the behind the scenes workers in our restaurants.