Iowa restaurants still experiencing worker shortage

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:51 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - Unemployed Iowans will no longer get an extra $300 per week.

Governor Kim Reynolds ended federal pandemic unemployment benefits last weekend in an effort to get more people in the workforce.

But some restaurants say they still can’t find workers.

Joe McConville is part of a local group that owns six restaurants in Des Moines, but due to staffing shortages, he could only open two on Monday.

One of the bartenders says she believes workers got comfortable with the security of unemployment checks amid the uncertainty of business.

Some restaurants are now offering cooks nearly $20 an hour and $13 per hour for dishwashers.

But with labor shortages comes rising food costs.

“It’s drivers, producers in plants every step of the supply chain is having the same worker shortage we have in our industry, so costs are going up,” McConville said.

McConville has spent 20 years in the restaurant industry.

He says this is the worst shortage he’s ever seen.

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