Ad at British Columbia restaurant offering $ 50,000 salary for dishwasher sparks discussion of labor shortage
The announcement of a Vancouver restaurant offering an annual salary of $ 50,000 for a new dishwasher sparks further discussion about labor shortages in the province’s hospitality industry.
In August, the Handi Grill announcement an hourly wage of $ 25 for work, citing “effects of labor shortage”. Dishwashing is an entry-level job with a salary normally hovering around the minimum wage.
“I think this reflects how desperate our industry is right now to attract workers,” Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurant Canada’s vice-president for Western Canada, told Global News.
The Handi Grill has since deleted the ad posted on Indeed.com and WorkBC, and although it declined a request for comment on the story, a spokesperson told Global News the position has been filled.
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Emad Yacoub, CEO of the Glowbal Restaurant Group, suspected the ad was a “one-time” sign of desperation. He acknowledged that the sector is experiencing a labor shortage, but suggested that wages this high for entry-level work would not be viable for anyone.
“If you (earn) $ 50,000 as a dishwasher – that’s the entry job – what are you going to pay your second cook?” What are you going to pay for your first cook? Sous chef? ”He asked.“ Forget what they cook, how much is the consumer willing to pay for food?
“We are prepared to transfer the money to the staff if the consumer is willing to spend $ 80 for a plate of salmon. It’s not going to happen. “
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Glowbal has 10 restaurants in the Vancouver area and more.
Yacoub said there has been an increase in the number of resumes submitted since Ottawa set an end date for the Canada Emergency Benefit, but Glowbal is still in need of a dishwasher, which is currently the case. recruitment at an hourly rate of $ 17.
According to Restaurants Canada, there were about 60,000 vacant positions in British Columbia’s restaurant industry before the pandemic – a number that has since more than doubled to 130,000.
Nine out of 10 restaurants also say they could use more staff, he reports.
The shortage is due to several factors, von Schellwitz said, including a shrinking demographics of young workers, migration to other occupations during the pandemic and CERB.
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Economist Stephen Brown of Capital Economics agreed. He said the Handi Grill example “highlights” a well-known story of labor shortages across the country, which peaked over the summer.
Hopes that cutting federal unemployment aid will bring workers back may be misplaced, he added.
“I think the reality is that it won’t be very helpful… until immigration resumes, there will simply be no supply for these jobs.”
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Attracting workers will be a “delicate challenge” for restaurants, as the demand for the service exceeds the supply of workers, Brown said.
Restaurants can be cautious about increasing wages, he explained, lest they end up with a net gain of very few staff, whom they all have to pay more.
“Some restaurants can afford to do that, the high end restaurants… but if you think about your average fast food restaurant, they just don’t have the profit margins to raise wages, and if they do, they will have to bear the price and risk losing customers.
This will likely be a “watch and see” scenario, he said, and small restaurants have to innovate, find new ways to attract workers or find efficiencies to replace them.
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