After struggling to survive the pandemic, Bay Area restaurants are suddenly hot again -- at least when it comes to creating jobs.
As people regain their appetite for dining out, the local restaurant economy is picking up and leading to a hiring spree.
In a surprisingly strong June employment report, the Bay Area gained a record 122,000 jobs, and while many of them were in the still robust tech industry, close to 40% of the new jobs came from restaurants and bars.
"We're thankful and grateful that things are going well, and we can hire our team back,” said Mistie Cohen.
The CEO of Oren’s Hummus said delivery and outdoor dining gave her business a huge shot in the arm.
"Customers are feeling a little more comfortable coming out even if it's only the patio,” she said “It feels like we're taking a step forward in being able to survive."
Good weather and stable tech jobs mean more money spent dining, even during a pandemic.
"Since those people can work from home, they're continuing to get paid, and they're going out and spending money,” said Robert Chapman Wood, business professor at San Jose State University.
The latest job growth lowered California's jobless rate to 14.9% from 16.7%, a nice drop yes, but still historically very high.