NewsTreasure CoastRegion Martin CountyJensen Beach


Restaurant offering higher wages, paid vacation in effort to get employees

Crawdaddy's N'awlins Grill & Raw Bar
Posted at 3:48 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 21:54:09-04

As restaurants look to rebound from the pandemic, they’re finding staffing shortages throughout the hospitality industry.

Opening a new business during COVID-19 was a challenge for Jason and Hallie Alfonso.

“We were pushed back from the pandemic for opening for about a year,” said Hallie Alfonso.

But when the husband and wife restaurateurs were ramping up hiring last January at Pickled in downtown Fort Pierce, it was a little slow going.

Eventually, they filled out their staff here, but are still waiting to reopen an eatery they own in Vero Beach.

“Although I agree with stimulus checks it makes some of us maybe want to stay home and not go back to work,” said Alfonso.

Other restaurant owners have had to up the ante to try and get new employees.

Mark Kren owns Crawdaddy’s in Jensen Beach and says business is the best its ever been in the 23 years he’s been open.

He’s made major investments inside and outside, with a new patio and music stage.

He’s also spending money on advertising just to get people to apply for open cook positions.

“Paid vacation and profit sharing in the seasonal months for every hour they work, we give them additional money on top of it,” said Kren.

Back at Pickled, the Alfonso’s say they were fortunate enough to have a great staff that’s followed them, but they’re hoping to be able to keep that staffing pace as business booms.

“We seem to be coming up around the bend and getting on the up and up but it’s still a problem,” said Hallie Alfonso.

If you’re interested in working at Crawdaddy’s, visit or call (772) 225-3444.