Restaurants in 'crisis' amid worker shortage: 'Bar Rescue' host Jon Taffer

Restaurants struggling amid worker shortage: Jon Taffer

‘Bar Rescue’ executive producer and host Jon Taffer on the issues facing restaurants reopening this summer. 

Restaurants and bars are facing a new "crisis" as customers return and unemployment benefits are making it hard to find workers, "Bar Rescue" executive producer and host Jon Taffer told FOX Business' "Varney and Co." on Tuesday. 

RESTAURANTS NATIONWIDE STRUGGLE TO FIND WORKERS AS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS OUTLAST CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS

JON TAFFER: [Restaurants can get back to normal by summer] if – big if – we can get employees. The fact of the matter is the enhanced unemployment is causing the same problem you just talked about in the health care industry. We can't get our employees back. It's a crisis for us. I'm here in Las Vegas and the huge signs in front of the casinos don't have promotions or entertainers – it says ‘help wanted.’

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Owners have been devastated. For example, I have [a ‘Bar Rescue’] episode this season with a family that lost their house three days before we showed up. And four young boys, below teenagers, are sleeping on a wooden floor above the restaurant. So the level of devastation this year… has destroyed families. People have lost homes. We have employees who have lost their cars. They're carpooling each other because they've lost their cars. So the suffering, the impact on people is far past their business now. It's really impacting their personal lives. 

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The restaurant relief package has been very helpful. I mean, we're getting dollars out. It's helping restaurants repay debt, landlord debt, mortgage debt. It's giving them dollars for inventory and things like that. So the customers are coming back in Vegas. We're starting to see activity here. Customers are coming back. New York City three weeks ago went up 60% in one week in credit card activity in the restaurant business. So the customers are coming back. But if we don't have employees, we can't serve those customers. So now we're dealing with that. 

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