California vice mayor works at local restaurant during labor shortage
A California vice mayor takes matters into her own hands and works part-time at a restaurant to deal with the labor shortage.
Sarah Aquino, vice mayor of Folsom, Calif., Works part-time at Back Bistro, a restaurant that offers American / California cuisine. His job is to clean tables, take reservations, fold towels and seat customers.
Aquino is an insurance broker in addition to being the vice-mayor, but she calls it her civic duty to help keep some of the local businesses open.
“Of course, it’s not something like, you know, asking people to fight in a war,” Aquino said, responding to criticism on social media. “Corn [it’s] the idea that you’re doing it for someone more than yourself. “
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Aquino doesn’t call her job “volunteer work” because she earns the California minimum wage of $ 14 an hour.
The economic impact of the pandemic has resulted in a loss of $ 3 million to the city due to declining sales tax revenue, which accounts for nearly a third of the city’s revenue.
Aquino recalled one instance where she couldn’t buy a burger at a local fast food restaurant because there weren’t enough workers to stay open.
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A member of Folsom’s city council opened a restaurant during the height of the pandemic and discovered that one of his biggest problems was hiring employees. Restaurant owner Kerri Howell says if the restaurant is open, she’s there.
“The chef and I are partners, and we are here pretty much every opening hour of the restaurant, unless I have to attend a city council meeting,” she said. “The workplace for just about everyone has changed dramatically.”
The hiring problems extend far beyond Folsom’s restaurants and have prompted some companies to limit their services.
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The Hampton Inn at Folsom is reducing the number of rooms available. The hotel has 147 rooms but only 117 are available due to a lack of manpower.
“I was turning people down with 30 (available) rooms. Ridiculous,” CEO Enid Baldock said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.