Restaurants in Cinco de Mayo with staff shortages remain optimistic


RED STICK – Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, commemorates the May 5, 1862 victory of the Mexican army over French soldiers at the Battle of Puebla.

Centuries after the Franco-Mexican War, in 2021, another battle seems about to end.

Tackling an international health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left many businesses struggling.

Restaurants in Baton Rouge, which are not immune to the impact of the novel coronavirus, face issues such as staff shortages and lack of foot traffic / profit due to over a year capacity restrictions.

Despite these challenges, restaurant employers like Brian Whitley, General Manager of Superior Grill, are hopeful.

Whitley notes that unlike many restaurants in the area, Superior Grill was able to keep 80 percent of its staff throughout the pandemic.

He explained that this was due to a thriving curbside service during the health crisis.

Praising the local government for allowing restaurants to serve take out food and alcohol throughout the pandemic, Whitley told WBRZ, “That’s actually one of the things that helped us stay afloat during all of this. Being able to allow people to pick up their drinks behind the wheel and continue on their way and have dinner at home while enjoying their margaritas. . “

While the curbside service has proven to be a big plus for the restaurant, management is still looking to hire more employees.

So the Superior Grill on Highland Road uses a little creativity to encourage potential workers to apply; management offers employees a $ 100 incentive to recruit new workers.

Superior Grill representatives told WBRZ that both the employee who hires the new hire and the new hire will receive $ 100 if the new hire stays at least three months.

Across the country, other restaurants are using creativity and government assistance to get back on their feet.

The Associated Press noted that thousands of restaurants and bars decimated by the COVID-19 outbreak have a better chance of survival as the government begins handing out $ 28.6 billion in grants to help these small businesses stay afloat while waiting for customers to return.

The Small Business Administration began accepting grant applications from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund on Monday, May 3.

During the first three weeks, only applications from restaurants owned predominantly by women, veterans and “socially and economically disadvantaged” applicants will be processed and paid, although any restaurant can apply, reports the Associated Press.

After that, the grants will be funded in the order they were approved by the SBA.

The grants, up to a maximum of $ 10 million, were designed to replace lost revenue in restaurant businesses with up to 20 locations. Chians with more than one restaurant can get up to $ 5 million per location, but each candidate is limited to a total of $ 10 million in funds.

This grant, along with Paycheck Protection Program loans, has helped a number of U.S. businesses survive amid the pandemic.

Click here for more information on government assistance to restaurants.

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