Restaurants still struggling to find workers as nation celebrates Labor Day holiday

South Carolina News

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As the nation celebrates Labor Day, some restaurants in downtown Greenville, S.C. are still working to find more help.

Sabor Latin Street Grill opened it’s doors to downtown Greenville pre-pandemic in January of 2020.

The restaurant has 18 locations mainly based out of Charlotte, but wanted to expand to South Carolina.

Owner Operator Luis Casella said it’s those other restaurants that keeps the one in Greenville alive.

“Last year when they opened, it’s a struggle with COVID,” he told 7 News. “It’s a struggle with the management. And in November the owner for the company, he sent me here to save this location because he was almost thinking about closing that location.”

He said the enhanced stimulus checks didn’t help the lack of employment situation either.

“The government started giving unemployment, we started to see a struggle,” Casella said. “Nobody comes in to apply.”

And even the ones who did, Casella said they didn’t come back for the interview.

“From January until maybe one month ago, we hired one person,” Casella explained. “Last week I hired one more person. We are starting the process to hiring but from that time until here, people come into apply but they never show up for the interview. We’re calling, we’re asking, ‘hey are you coming in for the interview?’ we can have the interview at this time, at 3 o’clock and they never show up.”

He said the restaurant sought out new options to attract potential candidates, like bonus incentives for new employees.

 “If they pass the 90 days they receive the $50-bucks for a stimulus for being hired. We’re trying to encourage the employees to get the COVID vaccine too. They’re giving the bonus, too. We have a bonus for coming on time, don’t be late, coming all the time fort he shift, but we’re trying. We’re trying a lot,” said Casella.

But he said it’s still a struggle, and one he’s had to pick up the slack for time and time again.

“I am the Owner Operator and I’m working on the weekends too,” Casella said. “Maybe three weeks ago I didn’t have more employees, I had to work every day.”

With the enhanced unemployment benefits coming to an end over the weekend, Casella said he’s hopeful there will be more applicants coming into his restaurant.

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