Yorkton restaurants struggling to fill open positions

Since COVID-19 restrictions lifted, some Yorkton restaurants have been struggling to find workers to keep up with the economy’s recovery.

General manager of Mr. Mikes in Yorkton C.V. Sastry has been looking for employees for the last several months. He said he has not found anyone to fill the open positions.

“This year it has been a little bit of a struggle to find good help in the restaurant industry itself. What we have found is there is not enough applications coming as we had in previous years,” Sastry said.

Mr. Mikes currently has 38 employees, but Sastry said he needs seven more to be fully operated.

Tapps Sports Lounge & Grill in Yorkton has experienced the same problem. For the last few months, Owner Wendy Zaporosky has been looking to fill the position of a cook at her restaurant, but she has not received a single application.

“You’d always get applicants coming, and I’m not saying it was easy filling positions with the right person, but five years ago I believe it was a lot easier than it is now,” Zaporosky said.

While the restaurant and service industry struggle to find employees, many owners believe that the cause of this is related to federal aid. However, the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce said CERB is among the reasons why businesses are having a hard time finding applicants.

“People have gone on to EI and other government programs [but] many people have [also] gone into different sectors. So the hotel and restaurant are the hardest hit. They’re having real trouble hiring people back, but there are a lot of people who are just not re-entering the work force,” said Steve McLellan, CEO of Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

McLellan said businesses should try and find creative solutions to this problem in the mean time.