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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
/
Unsplash
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.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., 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. My email is steve@kcur.org.
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 or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.
As Up To Date’s associate 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.