SWFL restaurants hiring as employees don’t return to work

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jackie Winchester
Credit: WINK News

As restaurants start making their comeback, many are hiring because some employees aren’t returning due to the risks.

Bayside Grille on Fort Myers Beach is one restaurant that has lost employees. Owner Robyn Schuckert said she respects their decision, but she was emotional about losing employees.

“We have staff that have been here for years; we have a family thing going on here. We’ve got a lot of good people and unfortunately, they’re not all gonna come back.”

Joseph Liu, assistant professor of management at Florida Gulf Coast University, said the job those workers left isn’t the same one they would return to.

As part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ phase one operating order, restaurants can only operate at 25 percent capacity in their dining rooms. If a server survives off tips, the job will be a lot more stressful, especially when employees have to keep themselves and their customers safe.

“The job that they were happy with, satisfied with before, may not be the job that they are returning back to,” Liu said.

“Some are not comfortable going out in public … some have even changed their course of life,” Schuckert said.

Many of Bayside Grille’s staff did head back to work, and Schuckert is advertising for new employees – and customers.

“How many people will I need? I don’t know,” she said. “I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing.”

She said she’s looking for some servers and bartenders. Those are the kinds of jobs that Liu said more recent college graduates pick up until the economy comes back.

If you’re interested in a position, Bayside Grille is located at 17853 San Carlos Blvd.

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