In response to “Help Wanted” in May 13 issue (https://bayweekly.com/help-wanted-2/)
Dear editors, We at South County Café are having a very hard time finding staff and even a problem after hiring as some employees don’t show up for their first shifts. This has been an ongoing problem for many months now. We are going into summer and our busy part of the year. Some of our former employees that went off to college will be returning very soon which will be a big help. We have an amazing staff that has been with us for years and some newer employees that are a great addition to our team, but finding new staff is the biggest issue in our day-to-day operation.
The COVID pandemic affected us as some of our staff have kids and with virtual school it meant that our staff had to stay home with their kids—that we support 100%. Finding staff for the restaurant industry can always be a bit challenging but in the 13 years I have worked in the industry I have never seen it this bad. Usually at this time of the year we are full-staffed, training the new hires and gearing up for the summer but this year we are looking to add 6–8 full and part time employees.
This is not just a problem in our restaurant. Talking with other restaurant owners and managers, it is a problem for all of us. I can tell this isn’t just affecting the hospitality industry. With purchasing for the restaurant, you can see the effects on the farming industry and meat suppliers all having staffing issues and with those we are facing product shortages and increased pricing across the board (SEE CRABMEAT SHORTAGE story). I feel that one of the biggest reasons is the increase in unemployment and the extra money the government is providing [the unemployed]. They simply do not want to come back to work yet. We have been trying to advertise that we are hiring every way possible and scanning application to be sure they will be a good fit and have the availability needed for the positions.
I think one thing everyone can do when they go out to eat or are just picking up carryout is to know that the restaurants are doing everything they can to provide the best service, best quality of food, and the fastest service they can with the staff they have. Try and be patient. I know it can be frustrating but the staff we do have are working tirelessly, working doubles and extra shifts and owners and managers are working open to close and filling in every shift just to keep the doors open.
Manager/chef at South County Cafe,
Whitman’s Catering, and The Galley Food Truck
In response to our cicadas cover story May 6
Who let the cat out? Was hoping you could enjoy the cicadas elsewhere by yourselves for a few. But no, under the cover of darkness, they clawed their way out, and slowly, stealthily, blade after blade, marched like an army to trees, branches, plants. Shells spilt open. Aliens in the form of plump, white, soft bodies with red bug eyes emerged, hanging on until translucent wings begin to form and grow. Sometimes the shaking to dry them, caused plopping on the ground below. No matter, elongated bodies formed, colors changed, eyes bugged out further. Puberty in a flash. And now, like teenagers, they are just hanging out. Waiting for their buddies. Waiting for the girls to arrive. Waiting for the party to begin. And when the music starts, the [mating] begins in earnest. Like race car drivers, zipping around trying to win the prize. So loud, you’ll strain to hear the real race car drivers around town. 100 decibels!!! Bring on the ear plugs! And just when you could go outside without a mask! Psyche!
Cynthia Cronan Wood