Lighter pandemic restrictions in effect aren’t jump starting every business.
The restaurant industry is slow to recover.
Restaurants that closed or cut down business hours dramatically, now find it hard to fill jobs.
Scott County’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent right before the pandemic, it was 4.1 percent in Rock Island County.
A year later, it’s 5.7 percent in Scott County and 6.6 percent in Rock Island County.
These are the projections for jobs in the hospitality industry which includes restaurants.
The most recent numbers for Illinois compared to the expectations for the end of this year.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security predicts a one percent increase of about 12,000 jobs.
And the Iowa Work Force Development agency projects 33,000 more jobs in the inudstry by the end of the year.
Phillip Khairallah owns The Grinder’s and Spaghetti House in Moline, it’s been around since 1996.
Like so many businesses, it took a hit during the pandemic, now it needs employees at all three of its locations.
“It’s like we get done with one struggle trying to stay alive and then you go into another struggle trying to stay alive,” said Khairallah.
The location in Davenport recently ran into a dire situation because of it.
“My uncle at the Locust Street location shut down last week because he had two people sick and he didn’t have enough staff,” said Khairallah. “I’ve heard almost all restaurants are trying to hire everybody is short handed.”
Don’t be surprised if you see more help wanted signs than usual. Khairallah is reaching out to find employees anyway he can.
“We’ve done social media you know posting signs I’ve had the wanted sign in the marquee at both of my locations,” said Khairallah.
He says some employees have stepped up to help deal with the shortage.
“Some people do some split shifts and doubles and stuff like that but knock on wood we’ve been managing to by through certain things,” said Khairallah.
So far Khairallah says customers have been understanding.
“We’re thankful that our customers have been really patient with us through this whole time,” said Khairallah.