Help Wanted: Restaurants Search for Staff as Business Gets Back to Normal

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A new struggle may be the latest sign of optimism for Bay Area restaurants.

They're busy, and they need to hire lots of people in quite a hurry. The question now is whether they can find enough people.

Shepherd and Sims is the newest restaurant getting ready to open in Los Gatos.

"Minimum of 50 people. It's going to be at least four managers, a chef, a chef de cuisine," Shepherd and Sims co-owner Angelique Shepherd said. "We're hiring at all of our places, actually."

It wasn't long ago that the entire industry was cutting jobs and simply trying to survive.

"We have three other restaurants locally, and we went through the whole process of shutting down, laying people off, going through COVID," Shepherd and Sims co-owner Jim Stump said.

But now jobs are suddenly in demand again and good help is a little hard to find.

"We are experiencing some difficulties in hiring," Golden Gate Restaurant Association Executive Director Laurie Thomas said. "We've had to do different types of outreach. I know a lot of us are looking at doing raises, particularly in the kitchen."

Restaurants big and small, including Chipotle, are coming up with incentives to convince people to work there.

"Imagine starting and then within two years getting to an apprentice level where your total comp and benefits equals $100,000," Chipotle's Chief People Officer Marissa Andrada said.

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