Amarillo Restaurants Lack of Labor

Amarillo restaurants are searching for employees, after a downward trend leaves them short handed.

Local managers say, "keeping" a full staff is also getting harder for area restaurants.   It's taking months to hire servers, busers and dishwashers.

La Fiesta restaurant manager Jesus Vargas says there are a lot of reasons for the lack of labor, but a lot of people blame the economy and fuel costs.  Customer Ruben Turrbiartes agrees, "Gas prices are going up. It's hard for everyone. People are not going to eat as much".

Restaurant managers say if they don't get positions filled the future looks grim.   Vargas said, "If we don't do anything about it as a community. We'll run into trouble. Businesses will be closing down because of lack of labor. Restaurants, they'll become smaller".

Vargas says one reason positions are becoming harder to fill is because younger workers who take server and buser jobs are moving away.  Once restaurants are staffed keeping the servers, busers and dishwashers take work.  Some restaurants offer employee incentive, scholarships and above average wages.

Vargas says it is a good way to keep employee moral up and motivated.  "It helps develop skills for employees. Gives them that stepping stone", he said.

Some restaurants say if the workforce does not get better the cost will hit customers.  Restaurants have had to change menus, prices and revamp their restaurants so they can cut costs to keep employees and customers happy.