Milwaukee restaurants hire as COVID restrictions lifted


If you’re looking for a job, restaurants in Milwaukee want you to know they’re hiring. A survey by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association found that 83% of operators had difficulty filling vacancies. It comes as Milwaukee prepares to drop all of its COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, June 1.

A few blocks from the Fiserv Forum, where the Bucks’ playoff game is set to spell a boom for business, is an empty Calderone Club and San Giorgio Napoletana pizzeria – now open just five nights a week.

“Tonight is, I think, the first time we’ve been here in almost 40 years and we can’t open for game number two the Milwaukee Bucks hosting the Miami Heat – because I don’t have enough staff to. opening the restaurant – and it’s heartbreaking, ”said Gino Fazzari, owner.

Gino Fazzari

The two downtown restaurants have survived 14 months of the pandemic and have a new challenge. Some workers have left the industry or the city – and some are staying at home.

“It’s hard when they don’t have staff; when they can’t drop their kids off at the daycare, right? There is a problem because the daycare centers are understaffed or closed because of COVID When schools are virtual, “Fazzari said.

Wisconsin Restaurant Association board chairman Chris Wiken runs the packaging house.

“On the days we’re open we do very well,” Wiken said.

It is empty on Mondays and Tuesdays. Before the pandemic, it was open 365 days a year.

“What we’re seeing, even if we wanted to reopen on those days, our staff just aren’t available to work those extra days,” Wiken said. “Right now they’re working the five days we’re open, giving them two days off, but I don’t have the extra staff to cover that overtime.”

Chris Wiken

“There is no easy fix, there is no easy fix at all. But something has to be done. Someone has to look at this long and hard and say – what can we do to fix this. problem so that we can restore the workforce? ” “Said Fazzari.

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The Wisconsin Restaurant Association recently signed a letter to Governor Tony Evers asking him to get rid of the extra $ 300 per week in federal unemployment benefits. It goes to 85,000 Wisconsinites. Statewide, the Wisconsin Job Center lists 107,000 open jobs.

New this week after the reinstatement of a committed legislature, Wisconsinians affected by unemployment will have to perform four job search actions per week. This includes things like sharing a CV, signing up with a temp agency, meeting with a career counselor, or going to a job interview.


About Marc Womack

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