Oklahoma’s economy roaring back as hospitality industry faces critical worker shortage

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As Oklahoma’s economy comes back to life, the hospitality industry faces a new challenge.

Restaurants and hotels struggle to find workers willing to work in their businesses.

They say that the critical shortage causes many not to work at full capacity.

“I’m not running at full capacity and taking care of business as usual,” said Jeff Countryman, executive general manager of Charleston’s Bricktown restaurant.

Countryman has been in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years.

He’s been with Charleston for eight years and says this shortage has never been seen before.

“My worst fear of going through COVID and opening up again was not having enough staff to handle the flow of traffic, and that is exactly what we are going through right now,” he said.

He says the shortage is so severe that Charleston’s still unable to serve guests at the same pace as it did before the pandemic, but the problem isn’t a shortage of customers.

“Our business currently exceeds 2019 sales by around 20-30%. The guests arrive with full force. The managers work harder, they occupy tables, take care of the food, take orders, ”said Countryman.

Countryman says Charleston’s also offers contract premiums for anyone willing to work.

“If you work at least five shifts a week and last 30 days we’ll give you a $ 200 bounty, and if you last 30 days you’ll get another $ 200, so that’s $ 400,” said he.

If you want to apply to Charleston, You can do this here.

There will also be a free job fair on Friday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone looking for a job in the hospitality industry

It is located at the Moore Norman Technology Center on S. Pennsylvania Ave. and 134th St.
No registration is required.

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