Help wanted: Labor crisis plagues US restaurant industry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California restaurants that managed to survive the pandemic are facing a new crisis: finding workers. With the economy officially reopened, owners are eager to fill dining rooms to full capacity but can’t find enough cooks, servers or kitchen staffers to do the job. As a result, restaurants are being forced to cut operating hours or leave tables open. Jot Condie of the California Restaurant Association calls it a full-blown crisis. And it’s not just California – restaurants nationwide have been hit by labor shortages. Some industry insiders blame extended federal jobless benefits that have allowed workers to stay home.