CHICO, Calif. - As more COVID-19 restrictions are loosening, businesses are back open and now facing a new challenge – finding employees to work for them.
Teriyaki House in Chico is one of the small local businesses that is struggling to find people to hire.
"Even just a simple job like cashier, we don't have any people turning in an application at all,” Phuong Thao Thi Do, owner of Teriyaki House said.
Now, current employees are having to work even harder to make up for the short staff.
"Now that we do have less people, I am working a little bit more hours to make up for the shifts," said Macy Beal, Cashier/Middle Help at Teriyaki House.
Macy Beal was working in retail last March and is one of the many people who had to find new work during the pandemic.
"We only had a few selective people that were able to work,” said Beal. “The rest of them had to stay at home."
Phil Feser from Rush Personnel said this is a common trend employers are seeing – lots of job openings but not so many job hunters.
"It's very competitive,” Feser told Action News Now. “There are a lot of jobs, tons of opportunities and I think employers are just struggling with how to encourage people to come back."
Teriyaki House has made the decision to not offer in-person dining just yet, but they are grateful for customers who continue to order takeout.
With this increase in demand, more workers are needed.
"If one position is missing then I have to cover for that position,” said Do. “I just have to hold out until I can find someone."
Beal agrees with her boss, saying she hopes they can find a few extra hands to help.
Feser from Rush Personnel adds that some employers are even offering big bonuses or other incentives like flexible hours.
Teriyaki House is working on ways they can attract more employees, but have not had much success.
"We pay way over the minimum wage, but still no one wants to take the position,” said Do.
Feser said another possible contributor to the drop in applicants is that college students are online, so fewer are in the area looking for work.
“They used to have way too many students trying to find part-time jobs in retail and foodservice,” said Fester. “Now it’s the other way. They’d like to have more business, but they are going to have to figure out how to staff it.”
Teriyaki House hopes this will change in the fall, but for now, is currently still seeking employees for jobs like prep cooks and cashiers.