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Help wanted: Labor crisis shocks California restaurants

Alec Nedelman, Caroline Styne
Caroline Styne
Jasmine Anokute, Chris Anokute, Caroline Styne
Caroline Styne
Posted at 12:23 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 15:23:13-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California restaurants that managed to survive the pandemic are facing a new crisis: finding workers.

With the economy officially reopened, owners are eager to fill dining rooms to full capacity but can’t find enough cooks, food servers or kitchen staffers to do the job. As a result, restaurants are being forced to cut operating hours or leave tables open.

Jot Condie of the California Restaurant Association calls it a full-blown crisis. Restaurant owners and industry insiders blame several factors for the shortage. They include extended federal jobless benefits that have allowed workers to stay home. Other workers moved out of state during the pandemic.