WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - When the pandemic first began, restaurants across the globe struggled to fill tables with customers. Now, for many places in the Falls, the problem is finding people to serve those customers.
“My peers in the restaurant industry are always looking for more people,” McBride’s Steakhouse Owner, Ford Swanson said. “I mean, this is the worst we’ve ever seen it now.”
Craig Martindale, the owner of Taco Casa and Firo Fire Kissed Pizza in Wichita Falls, is also in a similar situation.
“We go through the interview process and they either won’t show up for work or they’ll show up and work for two days and not show back up to work. And then they go home and file for unemployment and state that the reason for unemployment is a catastrophic event,” Martindale said.
Unemployment benefits have been extended until September of this year, and right now there are close to 3,900 people in Wichita County who have filed.
Workforce Solutions of North Texas is one of the companies stepping in to help businesses stick more permanent hires.
“We have not heard from just the restaurant industry about having a hard time filling the entry-level positions, it’s pretty much across the board,” Business and Outreach Manager of Workforce Solutions of North Texas, Kendra Ball said.
Martindale says that the problem has forced some of his current employees to pullup double shifts or even work on his day off just to pick up the slack. This has prompted him and other owners in the area to start a petition to legislators to stop the extension of benefits.
“I’m sure a lot of those are much needed, but I think the stimulus checks have created a scenario where people don’t have to work,” Martindale said.