BOCA RATON, Fla. — A new restaurant in Boca Raton started a two-week job fair to try and find enough workers to open.
"Our goal is to hire as many employees as we can," Chris Acosta said.
Acosta is general manager of Calaveras Cantina in Mizner Park.
The reason for the shortage of workers is partly blamed on increased jobless benefits, particularly the extra $300 a week in federal benefits.
That benefit is set to expire in Florida the week of June 27.
"I personally think they are finding remote jobs, staying home, doing the remote thing," Yasmine Proenza, who was interviewing for a job, said.
Aaron Bienvenu, who was interviewing for a bartender position, said he left the restaurant business during the pandemic to work on boats.
"I wanted to try something new," he said. "I was in hospitality for a long time. … I didn't want to sit at home any longer and just collect something for nothing."
Mark Hamrick, senior economist at Bankrate.com, said extended benefits may only part of the reason workers are not coming back to restaurants.
"Some of those people who were employed in this sector in the past have moved on to other jobs and some have made a judgment that maybe that wasn't the sector that they wanted to be working in after all," Hamrick said.
Meanwhile, Acosta is hoping enough people come to open his restaurant.
"I think that we're finding people with good experience," he said. "We're just not getting the same amount as before."