SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Some restaurants across Santa Barbara County are struggling to hire employees as more businesses reopen. That includes one of the big players in the beer brewing industry.
"We love our friends here. It’s a great place to come to get some food we’re going to have some pizza," said customer Tyler Hickernell at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. Santa Maria.
As COVID-19 cases continue to decline, managers at Figueroa Mountain in Santa Maria say more customers are coming into the restaurant, but they’re barely keeping up with the demand.
"I put in myself 13 to 14 hours. It’s really tough. We had a line out the door," said general manager Jose Sanguino at Figueroa Mountain Brew Co. Santa Maria.
As workers rush to set up patio furniture before lunch hour kicks in, managers said unless they’re able to hire more workers, they could be heading into crisis mode.
"Each one of us are putting in over time every day," said Sanguino.
Sanguino said they’re currently looking to hire roughly a dozen workers tor various positions.
"My hope is to get some more bodies in here. That way they can help us with some pizzas and other tasks," said Sanguino.
This isn’t the only location in need of more workers.
"We have six locations and another location we desperately need help with is the tap room in Arroyo Grande and our mothership in Buellton as well," said Sanguino.
Customers hope the restaurant and brewery will find more workers so they can keep coming back for a good time.
"I’ll keep coming back as long as they got workers to service, I guess you know, because we love the beer and we love the food it’s just a nice place to hang out," said Hickernell.
According to the National Restaurant Association, eating and drinking places are still 1.8 million jobs below their pre-pandemic employment level.