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Restaurant Staffing Shortage | Ottawa University Champions

Chefs at work in a restaurant kitchen.
Michael Browning
Restaurants are seeing significant staff shortages post-pandemic.

Workers are not returning to the restaurant industry and the first national champions in NAIA women's flag football are the Ottawa University Braves.

Segment 1, beginning at 0:59: After Kansas City loosened capacity restrictions and scrapped social distancing measures last month, customers responded by flocking back into dining rooms.

The problem is that without enough employees restaurants aren’t able to scale up production to meet the pent-up demand they're experiencing. Pre-pandemic industry conditions are causing workers to look for jobs elsewhere as "they're understanding the value of a livable wage," says Jenny Vergara.

Segment 2, beginning at 26:50: The spring of 2021 was the first year for NAIA collegiate women's flag football.

The Ottawa University Braves of Ottawa, Kansas, dominated in the first year of competition. In addition to coach of the year and player of the year, the team came home from Atlanta with the national championship. The head coach and one of the Ottawa players described what went into making a winning season and what the sport means for women's athletics.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.
As an assistant producer on Up To Date, my goal is to amplify voices of people who serve as pioneers in their respective fields while shedding light on issues that affect underserved communities. I produce daily conversations to uplift and inspire the people of the Kansas City area to make the world a better place. You can reach me at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.