Pizzeria begs to hire ‘literally anyone’ as staffing squeeze continues

Restaurant criticised for not sharing starting pay with prospective applicants

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 24 August 2021 21:48
US economy gaining momentum: Economist

An Alabama pizzeria has said that they will “literally hire anyone” as the country tries to return to normal amid a rise in Covid cases across the South due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.

It’s an example of one of many restaurants struggling to hire workers as workers in the hospitality industry changed jobs during lockdown to support themselves, hoping to acquire better pay, benefits, and flexibility.

“We will literally hire anyone. If you’re on unemployment and can’t find a job, call us; we’ll hire you,” Dave’s Pizza in Homewood, south of Birmingham, posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

Restaurants in Alabama are fighting to keep their doors open – three Chick-fil-A fast food establishments have closed with one saying that staff were “exhausted” after trying to satisfy the demand.

Another restaurant said they had fewer people applying for open jobs and that some who applied didn’t appear for their interview.

Dave’s Pizza didn’t share what jobs were open and what the starting pay would be for anyone who showed up.

“Come introduce yourself, if you have a resume – bring it; let’s talk,” the restaurant said. “Ask to speak to a manager.”

“We can start the conversation by you providing what the pay range is,” one person wrote in the comment section.

“Not willing to let folks know what you pay upfront? They have to come in and be interviewed first? Definitely not best practice, and may be part of the reason you’re having a hard time hiring anyone,” another added.

Dave’s Pizza said starting pay would vary based on experience and education level.

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the national average wage for entry-level staff in the restaurant industry reached $15 an hour for the first time in May.

McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Starbucks have all said they will raise pay in an effort to attract applicants.

Alabama doesn’t have a state minimum wage and is instead abiding by the federal minimum pay of $7.25 an hour. But employers in the state can pay tipped workers just $2.13 an hour depending on their gratuity.

Data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics showed that the unemployment rate in the state was 3.2 per cent in July, lower than the national rate of 5.4 per cent.

Around 195,000 Alabamians worked in the hospitality industry in July – around 5 per cent below the number of people in the sector as of March 2020.

The Independent has reached out to Dave’s Pizza for comment.

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