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Restaurants struggling to find workers in Michigan

Posted at 5:31 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 17:31:19-05

The restaurant industry is booming in Detroit. However, more and more restaurants are having a hard time finding people to work for them. 

“It’s been challenging to find things as we’ve grown,” said Dustin Leslie. 

Dustin Leslie is an operational manager at Wabco; they own a multitude of restaurants including The Emery in Ferndale. 

Leslie says part of the issue for the lack of workers the increase in competition. 

“I think there is a lot of cheap money out there and people think restaurants are easy, so a lot of people are opening restaurants, so I think there is this big boom and there is not enough people,” said Leslie. 

Michigan’s current unemployment rate is at 3.9 percent. According to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, the last time unemployment was this low was back in 2000. 

“As the economy is doing well, it feels like a lot of people are gravitating out of the service industry as opposed to to it,” said Leslie. 

This issue may not be slowing down anytime soon. According to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, Michigan will need 30,000 additional workers by 2028. 

“We are feeling, already, right now, where restaurants are trying to make a difficult decision of can they expand, can they grow? A lot of signs out there suggest that they can, and they should expand, maybe to a new location or expand the size of their current location, but do they have the workforce to meet that? And that is a real challenge,” said Winslow.

Winslow says the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association is reaching out through their programming to train more people and find a solution.