Local restaurants avoid staffing shortages

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(ABC 6 News) – Two Rochester restaurants avoid short staffing woes seen across the nation. Co-Founder of Forager Brewery in Rochester, Austin Jevne says being fully staffed in the winter is sometimes tricky.

“So right now, we are at full staff which is great. During the winter months, we are down a couple employees usually simply because of school and our patio is closed,” said Jevne.

This week, the fed released new unemployment numbers. The nation’s unemployment rate at 3.4 percent which is considered good news, but the numbers in the leisure and hospitality industry don’t reflect that. The U.S. Department of Labor reporting more than 1.9 million job openings.

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Cafe Steam Co-Owner Will Forsman says it’s important to understand the relationship between job availability and unemployment.

“So, as you have few people in that potential pool of available folks to take on those available positions. It becomes increasingly hard for employers to find those people to fill those positions,” said Forsman.

Many restaurants have switched to customers ordering their food on tablets. Jevne says that’s both bad for business and the community.

“There’s also those experienced base thing that for locals who want to come see a friend, hear how their kids are doing. You kind of build a relationship with servers who have been here for a long time, and they also offer you a great perspective of the other awesome things we have to do in Rochester,” said Jevne.

Forsman says that it’s the fun interactive environment that keeps his employees working at Cafe Steam.

“Coffee shops are really fun places to work in, much like breweries, much like bars the social environment or the social aspect of working in a coffee shop is very high. So, you end up making a lot of close friends with your co-workers with customers in general,” said Forsman.

But dealing with customers is one reason why some servers leave the industry. Jevne says customer patience is bliss and that’s how customers can do their part to keep restaurants fully staffed.

“We are super fortunate at Forager to have incredible customers. Most of the people who come in here know how the service industry runs, sees how busy our restaurant can be those busy nights like Friday and Saturday evenings, and know everyone is trying their best,” said Jevne.