In Vegas as in Quebec

(Las Vegas, Nevada) When we got here the cab driver warned us. “Good luck eating after 10 pm! Restaurants close early! ”

We quickly noticed, in the first days, when we arrived at the Irish pub in New York-New York at 11:30 p.m.

The waiter is busy cleaning the bar even if there are still customers. “Are you still operating according to the pandemic schedule?” asks a tipsy customer.

– No, we operate according to the schedule due to the lack of personnel! “

By making us pay, he explains himself. “I’m making more money than before. But the big problem is finding kitchen staff. The employees get $ 10 an hour and they are really overwhelmed. We had an employee who quit after his first shift! ”

The shortage of restaurant staff is a reality in Quebec at this time of reopening the economy, and Las Vegas is facing the same problem.

On Wednesday, the local CBS station told the story of a Mexican restaurant forced to close Mondays and Tuesdays in order to give its staff a break. The restaurateur said he currently has 85 employees, compared to 110 in normal times. To promote recruitment, it offers a $ 250 bonus to its employees who recommend people for hire.

Also this week, the famous chef Wolfgang Puck lamented, in an interview with Yahoo Finance, that he was unable to find servers, even in his upscale restaurants where tips earn employees very good salaries.

PHOTO CARLO ALLEGRI, REUTERS ARCHIVES

Wolfgang puck

The Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday that, according to government data from last April, more than 1.4 million vacancies in the hotel and restaurant industry in the United States. In California alone, there are still 450,000 fewer jobs in this industry than before the pandemic.

Restaurants struggle to attract employees, and when they find them, it is understood that they are not fussy about the experience. Examples of approximate service abound for the past two weeks, such as the waiter at the sushi restaurant who, when asked for a recommendation, basically read the ingredient list on the menu. He fell well, that said; his suggestion was good.

The best was at the Gordon Ramsay Burger. We order the tasting menu, which consists of a palette of four beers served in galopins. At US $ 19 for something that costs a dozen dollars back home, we at least want the service to be decent, especially in an establishment named after the flammable Gordon Ramsay!

We quickly understand that the waiter’s knowledge of beer is limited, so we rely on his instinct for the choices.

He first pours the blonde, then the two IPAs. “What can I get you for your fourth beer?”

– The peanut butter stout, please. “

Rather than going to the Belching Beaver pump, he leans over, opens the refrigerator under the bar and takes out a pint of stout already poured, which he pours into our glass. “She makes a lot of foam, I would have 30 minutes if I served her from the pump!” ”

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