GREENSBORO, N.C. — A year and a half into the pandemic, industries are still trying to recover from the economic devastation, and the service industry is one of the hardest hit.
What You Need To Know
U.S. economy remains 5.3 million jobs short of where it stood when COVID-19 hit
Heavenly Buffaloes in downtown Greensboro is in need of workers
The general manager says the business has gotten busier, making it harder due to staffing shortages
While things are improving, the U.S. economy remains 5.3 million jobs short of where it stood when COVID-19 hit, according to the latest job reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Heavenly Buffaloes in downtown Greensboro opened up just two weeks before the pandemic shutdown. Now, 18 months later, it is still struggling to hire more employees.
“We currently have four front house and that includes myself and a shift lead. Back of house we have about seven people to alternate full-time,” said Carrie Magnum, general manager of Heavenly Buffaloes.
Current staffing isn’t enough to keep the ball rolling at the restaurant.
“We need at least one more full-time front of the house, two more full-time back of house and a dishwasher. And the fact about that is, not everybody wants full-time job. A lot of people who are looking for jobs are looking for part-time, a second or third job so, that could mean that I need to hire about four or five more people,” Magnum said.
Magnum was once a school teacher who worked as a server on the side. She went full-time into the service industry when she became a general manager.
“I served while I taught to make extra money, and I was making good money, and I really enjoyed the people. It was a really special place, and I really enjoy the owners,” she said.
The business opened just two weeks before the pandemic hit, closing its doors for the time. Magnum says since being back open they have been more busy, but it’s brought more challenges.
“So people are starting to discover as people are more downtown, we’re getting busier, but it’s still the staffing for that,” she said.
Staffing is the biggest issue they have, and it’s stretching everyone thin.
“We have a shift covered. It’s just really tight, you know, if somebody needs off we just don’t have that coverage to switch shifts or to get somebody to cover,” she said.
And Magnum says she is unsure why no one wants to come in and work.
“I also question if it’s school right now out of our front house or back house will be part-time, you know, kids in school. I don’t know if they’re busier and maybe not as anxious to get out of there if they have a supplemental income,” she said.
And since the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits ended on September 4. Magnum is optimistic about people coming into work.
“(I) feel like kind of seen this coming for a while, and I was hoping by now we get more applicants or more people who didn’t wanna be present working, so we’ll just have to see how it goes hopefully maybe in the next two weeks or so we’ll see more responses,” she said.