Hawaii restaurants try to find workers as restrictions ease

HONOLULU — Hawaii restaurants are trying to find workers as COVID-19 capacity and social distancing rules that have been in place for much of the pandemic are lifted.

Restaurants and bars can operate at 100% capacity beginning Dec. 1.

“We still are facing an ongoing labor shortage,” said Ryan Tanaka, Hawaii Restaurant Association’s incoming chair.

Finding line cooks and other back of the house employees is one of the biggest challenges, but there are other logistical issues involved with filling dining rooms, KHON-TV reported.

“There’s a supply chain disruption that’s happening worldwide,” Tanaka said. “So it’s still going to take some time for us to ramp up.”

Many restaurants are already getting reservations for large parties over the holiday season.

“I think we can actually add 10 to 15 more tables. It also depends how much tables we can put together for the larger parties,” said Korie Sasano of Side Street Inn. “So it’s really going back to the old ways of how we used to do things.”

But they need the staff to accommodate those parties.

“Before we’ve done fliers and posted on social media, word of mouth, referral programs for employees,” Sasano said. “So hopefully we try that again, and we can get more people coming in.”

  1. MaiTai Cameron November 28, 2021 10:39 pm Reply

    There is still restrictions throughout the island. Vaccinations signs at some restaurants. And at stores they have posted clear signs at entrance, face mask required to enter the store. And I think on some stores they have posted hirings for the christmas seasons. It look like they are having restrictions to go into 2022 year.

    As far as other activities around the island like helicopter rides, hiking, swimming locations, boat tours, I think they have it still at 50% capacity. Restaurants around town is almost full capacity. It was busy Thanksgiving weekend. I don’t think it will change. The business looks set to have the signs up well into the 2022 year for safety concern of their customers. I don’t think they’ll care if the proclamations are made in favor of locals to not worry about anything. It looks like the medical side have got a hold on the public to be aware of the coronavirus and for awhile still.

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