Hiring issues lead to changes at Long Beach Restaurant


LONG BEACH, Calif .– Many restaurants have vacancies right now, and some establishments are making long-term changes due to declining membership.

Joey Rooney has been in the restaurant business since he was a teenager and now owns The Crooked Duck, which is struggling with staff.


What would you like to know

  • Hiring enough staff has become a pervasive problem in the restaurant industry.
  • Long Beach restaurant has stopped serving dinner and increased paychecks to deal with the issue
  • Latest Ministry of Labor report shows unemployment rate continues to decline and more jobs have been added to the economy
  • Experts say there are fewer people who want to work

“I never thought that would ever happen, no. I mean I’ve been successful at this business my whole life, ”Rooney said.

Rooney has nearly half the number of employees he had before the pandemic. It got bad enough sometimes, they had to stop placing people because they didn’t have enough servers.

Finding new hires became so difficult that Rooney had to make permanent adjustments. For example, the restaurant no longer serves dinner, just lunch and breakfast. He also does everything he can to make sure the workers he has are happy.

“Every paycheck I put an extra $ 50 bonus on the paycheck just to keep them happy and keep them loyal with me because once they’re gone I’m no good in the kitchen. I’m a home front guy, ”Rooney said.

The latest report from the Ministry of Labor shows that the unemployment rate continues to decline as more jobs are added to the economy.

Fred Beebe, professor of economics at Long Beach City College, said the problem is there are fewer people who want to work.

“We can’t get people to go to work and a lot of people just aren’t ready to get back into the job game,” Beebe said.

This makes it a labor market right now and could lead to better working conditions as employers try to attract potential employees.

The labor shortage is certainly changing Rooney’s business model.

“It was a tough decision because I think there are a lot of people out there who really – I mean, we’re one of the best restaurants in Long Beach,” Rooney said.

Because flexibility is the key to survival, The Crooked Duck also hosts private events, which could become another vital source of income.


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