(p. D1) WASHINGTON — The owner of Taco Bamba Taqueria peered out from the kitchen at the line of customers snaking around the corner at his latest spot in a suburban Virginia strip mall, and felt terror. Who was going to cook, serve and clean up for all these people?
“The cooks had left,” overwhelmed by the crowds, said Victor Albisu, who owns four Taco Bambas in the region, with a new upscale Mexican place on the horizon. “The wait staff had left. The chef and sous-chef had walked out because of the amount of business. It doesn’t stop.”
A tight labor market and an explosion of new restaurants have made finding and keeping help ever more difficult across the country.
(p. D5) In 2017, the National Restaurant Association reports, 37 percent of its members said labor recruitment was their top challenge, up from 15 percent two years ago. With low profit margins leaving little room to do what most businesses do in tight labor markets — increase wages — restaurant owners are having to find other ways to attract and hold onto workers.
For the full story, see:
JENNIFER STEINHAUER. “Tight Labor Market Squeezes Restaurants.” The New York Times (Wednesday, April 11, 2018): D1 & D5.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date APRIL 5 [sic], 2018, and has the title “A Worker Shortage Is Forcing Restaurants to Get Creative.”)