JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Restaurants nationwide have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, especially with worker shortages.
Jeff Good, who is the co-owner of Broad Street Baking Company, Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar and Sal and Mookie’s, said the past two years have been tough for all of his restaurants, especially when it comes to finding employees.
“The pandemic has been like going through a meat grinder the past 18 months. Everyone wants to come out to eat at the restaurants. Everyone wants to be able to get take-out and take that experience home, so we have unlimited demand. And yet, here we are as an industry struggling to find the help,” he said.
On Tuesday, Good teamed up with the Jobs for Jacksonians program with the hopes of filling immediate openings for severs, bartenders and line cooks. At least once candidate was hired on the spot.
“Me and the City of Jackson, serving as a liaison between the public sector and the private sector, we see this as a win-win. This is one of the things we want to do; make sure the people know there’s opportunities out here, economic opportunities out here. And also, we just want to help people,” said Jonathan Barnett with the City of Jackson.
Good said another reason why employers have been struggling to keep workers is because the needs of the employees are not always met by the employers.
“You maybe need to realize you need to be a little more understanding, a little more flexible. You’re probably going to pay a little more. You’re paying a lot more. You have to be a little more understanding about schedules. I need to make my workplace as attractive as possible, while still getting the job done,” he stated.
Michael Thomas has been employed by Good for more than 20 years. He worked his way up from a busboy to a general manager at Broad Street Baking Company. He said the positive work environment is what keeps him there.
“I have been privileged to work with some amazing guys, and we’re like family. I’ve been able to build a career here,” said Thomas.
All three of Good’s restaurants still have various positions open.