Jacksonville restaurant owners blame unemployment benefits for setting problems

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – While Florida is open for business and restaurants are at full capacity, the owners seem to have one common complaint: they can’t hire enough staff.

Several restaurant owners have told News4Jax that they believe state and federal unemployment benefits are so good that hourly workers do not want to make appearances in the service industry.

As a result, some restaurants limit their opening hours or close early. That could change on Saturday, however, when Florida unemployed people again have to prove they are trying to find work.

The brisket, the sides, the atmosphere – all reasons customers say they love The Bearded Pig BBQ. And the locally owned restaurant recently opened its second location on 3rd Street South in Jacksonville Beach.

The second location is larger than the original San Marco restaurant, with 7,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining.

However, the owners say there simply aren’t enough hands to adequately occupy the joint.


“We don’t even get someone to apply,” said co-owner Chad Munsey. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Munsey and co-owner Michael Schmidt have tried unsuccessfully to recruit staff both on the beach and in San Marco. They credit unemployment benefits for the lack of interested applicants.


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