Chef: Jacksonville’s Restaurant Industry is facing a labor shortage

Jacksonville restaurant owners face a new problem. Now that customers are returning, some restaurants are struggling to find enough staff.

Chef Richard Robinson of Pink Salt Restaurant and Wine Bar, a Caribbean-style restaurant in San Marco, only has 4 or 5 chefs. Robinson told First Coast Connect host Melissa Ross on Monday that he suspects the unemployment benefit extension – along with stimulus checks – is keeping some workers at home.

“I had staff that I called back when we reopened the restaurant. ‘Hey, do you want to come back? We have advantages, we have 401K advantages; We give a starting bonus of $ 250 and people say, “Absolutely not.”

Another problem is the number of unskilled workers applying for jobs in the food industry.

Richardson said some can be trained, others don’t find the job to their liking. Training and the subsequent loss of workers is both time consuming and expensive.

The full interview with Richardson can be heard on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross on Monday, which will be posted on WJCT News 89.9 at 8 p.m.

Michelle Corum can be reached at [email protected], 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.

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