Local restaurants struggle to find help

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 10:07 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - If you’re heading out to your favorite restaurant, be sure to pack your patience. Many central Texans are encountering long waits and questionable service.

The reason? Kenny Brown, who opened a local cafe in the middle of the pandemic explains it’s a lack of good help.

“I don’t know if it was harder right when it first opened or harder right now. We just can’t find anyone who is qualified to work.” Brown said.

Kenny B’s Sand Bar Cafe in China Spring specializes in Island food and drinks.

They’re modeled after concoctions that Brown served at the six bar and grills that he owned in Honduras.

Lately, he’s been doing a lot of the work himself.

Brown says with the pandemic-related unemployment benefits being extended, many are choosing not to work, rather than losing the benefits if they take a job. He doesn’t really blame them.

“Somebody told me the other day a figure that they get paid for sitting at home and I think I could do that with my feet in the sand on the beach somewhere and live pretty good.” Brown said.

Brown says he has found a solution in an unlikely place.

High School students are showing up to apply for jobs that would ordinarily go to those who are older with more experience.

" They have really been a blessing for our business because I can get them in here and a few days later, they’re ready to go to work.”

Brown has plans for expanding. He’s looking into having more live music events and adding outdoor games like corn hole, washers, and maybe even crab races.

With the Covid related benefits that have been a lifeline for many not set to expire until September, he knows it could be a long challenging summer.

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