- A catering consultant told the AP she had to hire people with bad attitudes to fill positions.
- But rude staff members scared customers away, the consultant said.
- American restaurants are going to great lengths to fill vacancies amid a shortage of hospitality workers.
A restaurant manager in Northern Virginia was so desperate for staff that she said she had to employ rude people who scared customers off, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
It’s one of the latest examples of U.S. employers having to rethink their hiring requirements amid a nationwide shortage of hospitality workers.
In response, many restaurants increased their minimum wages, offered free food to applicants, and started hiring young teens.
The AP reported that Sarah Blanche, a catering consultant who works as an area manager at the Lost Dog Cafe in northern Virginia, said she had to hire people with bad attitudes to fill the vacancies.
But rude employees deterred customers, White said.
“We have no one to wait for them, but we also lose them because they are receiving services, but it is from someone that I would not want to serve them,” she told the AP. .
When the pandemic struck last year, the Lost Dog Cafe lost staff, some of whom had worked there for 10 years, the AP reported. In May, the company’s wait staff was down about 20%, the AP said.
As it struggled to fill these roles, the Lost Dog Cafe began hiring people with no restaurant experience and for the first time employing people under the age of 18, according to the AP report. Some have also turned out to be great hires, White said.
âNow we’re getting people we wouldn’t have hired before. And they’re some of the most amazing employees,â White told the AP. âIt would have been our downfall.
The Lost Dog Cafe did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In a survey of around 13,000 job seekers conducted by Joblist in July, around a third of former restaurant and hotel employees said they would not return to the hospitality industry. Hospitality workers interviewed said they were discouraged by low wages, poor benefits and a stressful work environment.