Staffing shortages are causing temporary closures of some Belleville restaurants.
The executive director of Belleville Downtown District BIA, Louisa Sorrentino, says the city has three restaurants that are definitely struggling with staff shortages.
They are temporarily closed as they continue to look for staff, including kitchen staff.
Export and Capers are two restaurants that are temporarily closed.
Sorrentino tells Quinte News they are hoping for things to change soon.
“Better luck I guess in the next few weeks and to see those restaurants reopen. But, yeah, definitely we are part of that, I guess it’s a greater issue that we have in our community but also everywhere else in Ontario too.”
She adds, “When it comes to anything hospitality and even tourism in general, that’s one of the big issues that the (Ontario) ministry is trying to address as well.”
Sorrentino raises the question, “Where are all the people we used to have? There are different factors in this. One of them is for sure that during the pandemic a lot of people have, I guess have done a deeper dive onto what they really want in their life and they’ve moved on to other careers or opened their own business or working from home with their own little small business and side gigs…”
She points to the fact, “With bigger positions that are paid better and have pension and benefits are available it makes it an employee market. They can pick and choose. For instance, chefs. People who are in the kitchen cooking. I’m not talking minimum wage staff, right. I would suspect that there is more to do with them starting their own business.”
“When you have that kind of skill and through the pandemic they had to look for other revenue maker so you know some of them re making dinners from home or offering their services in a different capacity.”
Sorrentino adds, “Some of the restaurants have shared that they are opening, you know some of their staff hired probably within the next couple of weeks.”