Straight Wharf restaurant chef Gabriel Frasca says ‘there are no applicants’
Your restaurant server might just come from middle school at that upscale restaurant this summer, on Nantucket’s tony Massachusetts island.
A nationwide worker shortage has struck a new highly enthusiastic chef Gabriel Frasca on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast,” the Straight Wharf restaurant has resorted to interviewing eighth graders to explain.
“We are at that point in the recruitment process where we are not only considering students in class VIII, but we are also interviewing them,” he said. “It’s new… to me but hey, he’s got housing.”
Frasca explained that the restaurant’s location in Nantucket has a specific issue when it comes to hiring limitations because there is no commuting option. Overall, the restaurant has been facing staff shortages in recent years, but he said it’s “particularly acute” right now.
The Nantucket chef shared that his restaurant is offering even more incentives than ever before, including signing bonuses and accommodations.
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“There are no applicants there,” he said. “And that’s probably why that’s above my salary, but that’s the case… where we can get 20 applicants a day, in the past, we’re looking at one or two without more generally applicable experience.”
“It’s not a restaurant you can walk into and cook on the grill if you’re overseeing a storage facility. It just isn’t.”
Frasca draws on a hard-learned lesson that it’s never worth it to fill positions just because they’re vacant – a mistake she believes will probably be repeated in today’s hopeless climate.
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“It’s better to put someone in a position than to put someone down where they’re going to fail,” he said. “That being said, we’re at the point where it’s going to impact our business and it’s going to affect our operations.”
For the first time ever, Frasca said that Straight Wharf has had to close a separate bar side of the restaurant from the traditional menu and expressed that there may not be plans to reopen the seven-day event in a few weeks.
“Right now when we need to fill 11, 12, 13 positions, we are far from that.”