Will the coast’s summer labor shortage continue into the fall?



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At least three Seacoast restaurants have kept their doors closed during what would be their peak season due to the continued labor shortage in the hospitality industry.

At the start of the summer, restaurants, hotels, entertainment and camps struggled to hire for all open positions. Despite the increase in wages and the lowering of age restrictions, the problem is that summer has arrived and the season has had to continue with the help available.

The Goldenrod in Short Sands, Maine said on his Facebook page that he didn’t have enough help opening in the morning for breakfast after trying it during the Independence Day holidays.

“It quickly became apparent that we didn’t have enough staff to be open 14 hours a day,” the restaurant wrote. “We believe it is necessary to provide the high quality service that you are accustomed to receiving.”

They will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will always offer a breakfast menu.

Petey’s Summertime Seafood & Bar in Rye, NH has been closed due to “staffing capacity” according to his Facebook page while Habibi Mediterranean Cafe in Portsmouth also closed for the day, according to customers who found a note on the door.

Restaurant week starts in Dover on Sunday

Matt Little, CEO of HospitalityMaine, told Seacoast Current that while he hasn’t spoken to anyone at Goldenrod, it points to a “new normal” in which restaurants are doing what they can do to maximize their staff. In his own town of Brunswick, he saw restaurants open Thursday through Sunday.

“We hear stories like this all the time. I’ve heard of restaurants taking items off menus because they’re too labor-intensive, they don’t have the staff to handle it. occupy, ”Little said.

Labor issues are just one more example of the tough times hospitality has experienced since the pandemic began in March 2020. The last restaurant to close on the Seacoast is The Striker in Portsmouth, NH after not receiving federal stimulus money because it was depleted. Is it worth fighting to keep others open?

“When we talk about Maine, we are talking about many family businesses and many businesses that go back generations,” Little said. “It’s their families and their livelihood and they take great pride in what they offer in Maine.”

Little used HospitalityMaine Chairman Steve DiMillo, whose DiMillo’s on the Water in Portland has been in operation since 1954, as an example of a longtime restaurant owner who had to make changes to maintain his success. .

Unlike hotels, Little said many restaurants in Maine have received US federal salvage law financial assistance to stay afloat.

“If you ask any of these restaurants that received this funding, they’ll say they wouldn’t be in business if they hadn’t received this,” Little said.

Once the summer is over and the students who make up a large part of the seasonal workforce return to school, how will the hospitality workforce develop? Will ending the $ 300 US unemployment recovery supplement help fill vacancies?

Little thinks that was only part of the struggle to fill the positions.

“There are a lot of other reasons. Housing, child care, family issues, a wide range of issues,” Little said.

Little said he believes staffing challenges will continue into the fall, and conversations need to be about finding creative ideas to address the understaffing. He participates in one of these round tables in August. One idea is to “swap” seasonal workers with other parts of the country where their peak periods are opposite to those on the coast.

“Some people went to Florida to try this. I don’t know how successful it was,” Little said.

He expects small inns and guesthouses to cut front desk hours to perhaps 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., which might be the only time guests would see a member. staff of the establishment.

“I think the welcome at these locations when you check in will be the normal gracious welcome from Maine, and then I think people will start to see the staff are a bit quieter later that evening,” Little said. .

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

WATCH: Here are America’s 50 Best Beach Towns

Each beach town has its own set of pros and cons, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best place to live. For the knowledge, Stacker consulted WalletHub data, published on June 17, 2020, which compares American seaside towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The towns had a population of 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read it full methodology here. From these rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida won’t be surprised to learn that many of the cities featured here are in one of these two states.

Read on to see if your favorite beach town has made the cut.



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