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Kansas City Restaurants Share In Industry Wide Staffing Shortages

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Chefs at work in a restaurant kitchen.
Michael Browning
Many former restaurant workers are not interested in returning to the industry post-pandemic.

As pandemic restrictions are lifted restaurants are ready to cook and diners are ready to eat, but staff are not flocking back to greet guests and wait tables.

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.

Steve Kraske is the host of KCUR's Up To Date. Follow him on Twitter @stevekraske.
Mackenzie Martin makes podcasts for KCUR Studios. You can find her on Twitter @_macmartin.
Zach Wilson is the associate producer for KCUR's Up To Date.