A California taqueria restaurant owner put up a sign urging his customers to be patient because of the slow service, adding that he was short-staffed because “no one wants to work anymore” because of government handouts.
The sign at Taco Loco in Folsom read: “To our loyal customers. Sadly, due to government and state handouts no one wants to work anymore. Therefore, we are short staffed. Please be patient with our staff that did choose to come to work today to serve you.”
On June 15, California’s economy fully reopened with no restrictions on capacities at restaurants. However, despite patrons flocking venues, many restaurants are struggling to fill their vacant employee positions.
Many people receiving COVID handouts are unwilling to go back to work in places where they would earn less than they are getting from unemployment benefits.
The California state legislature, on June 25, voted in favor of extending unemployment benefits, including extending federally funded benefits to September 11, a 20-week extension.
John Voels, owner of a restaurant located down the street from Taco Loco, stated that he was having the same staffing problems.
He told CBS Sacramento: “It's hard to find people who want to work right now. They want us to hire more people right now. We're trying to hire more baristas, we're trying to hire cooks. It is really hard.”
Erica Oresky, a local resident, stated: “They were laid off and they went on employment and they come back and then they get laid off again. It's a back-and-forth situation. Why not go on unemployment? It is an easy paycheck.”
This comes as fast-food franchises are offering sign-on bonuses and bigger salaries to entice workers.
According to Axios, one McDonald's store in Arlington, Virginia, is offering new hires a $500 sign-on bonus.
Wendy's in turn is offering $100 signing and referral bonuses to new hires and same-day pay.
Chipotle is increasing its employees’ pay to an average $15 an hour.
White Castle in Ohio has boosted hourly pay from $11.50 to $15.
Recently, McDonald's stated that it was looking to hire 10,000 employees at company-owned restaurants and that it would raise their pay at the locations.
Entry-level employees will be earning from $11 to $17 after the pay rise while supervisors would get from $15 to $20.
Earlier in the year, non-managerial employees at company-owned stores were earning a $12 an hour average pay with supervisors earning from $16 to $18 an hour.
In late May, about 15 million people claimed some form of unemployment insurance benefits, up from around 2 million before the pandemic.
However, federal unemployment benefits are set to expire by Labor Day across the country, with some states ending the benefits early.
Sources: Daily Mail