Restaurants thrive amid nationwide shortage

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:56 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Restaurants nationwide struggle to find restaurant workers, but the trouble doesn’t seem to have lingered in Northeast Arkansas.

The Washington Post reported the restaurant industry is looking for almost 2 million workers.

“I’ve been hearing about it, but it don’t happen over here,” said Israel Lomeli, Papitos manager.

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry is expected to grow by 500,000 jobs, finally surpassing pre-pandemic levels…

In Northeast Arkansas, restaurants recovered early and didn’t have a shortage because their employees weren’t leaving.

“For us to treat them and taking care of them and do the right things with them… they’re not going to leave on us like that. They’re gonna stay always on our business or whatever the business is, Lomeli said.

At Papitos, technology is also helping its servers.

A robot in the restaurant helps by doing simple tasks like delivering chips and salsa or delivering to-go orders to the front.

This allows servers to focus on their customers.

We’re told it is not taking away anyone’s job but rather enhancing the restaurant experience.

“It’s kind of like a plus, you know like we are trying to have something that extra for the customers to be happy, so they enjoy coming to the business,” he said.