SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT)- Working in a restaurant used to be a staple for young people, but not anymore.
Sandweesh Mediterranean Grill is one of several new restaurants to open in Saginaw, Michigan in the past year. Like some of the others, the owner has seen his share of employees come and go.
Gino Vicci will celebrate his one year anniversary as a restaurant owner in about a week.
"It's been a challenge," said Vicci, owner of Sandweesh Mediterranean Grill owner.
He's had to be creative when it comes to finding good help over the past 12 months.
"In fact, recently, I reached out to a couple of business owners here locally, just to kind of ask them, 'Hey, who do you have? When are your busy hours? And maybe we can share employees.' That's how hard it's been to people who want to work in the food industry," Vicci said.
And Vicci is not alone. According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2017, 37 percent of its members said finding people to hire was their top challenge, up from 15 percent just two years ago.
Vicci says it's especially hard if you are not a franchise or fast food restaurant.
"The biggest challenge has been teaching some of these young kids what food is, that food that is not messed with, doesn't last very long. It's in and out, keeping it at the right temperature and the eating options that are here right now just doesn't help them when healthy option comes along," Vicci said.
Vicci says he hopes to eventually find the right mix of employees, but for now he says he'll just keep trying to provide good food and customer service with the ones he has.