Richmond-area restaurant owners say they need employees badly to operate

With an unemployment rate hovering around three-percent, Richmond restaurants are working to get people hired.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 1:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney was on hand for a big hiring event at McDonald’s off Chamberlayne Avenue. The fast food chain is trying to hire 500 workers in and around the city.

“Now more than ever, post the pandemic, post the height of the pandemic, we need more opportunities for our people,” said Stoney.

Franchise owners Courtney and Corey Holeman say the workforce has simply disappeared. Two months ago, they had adequate staff, but that all went away, and they’re getting desperate.

“Without adequate staff, our job is a lot harder. So we need employees badly,” said Courtney Holeman, McDonald’s Owner/Operator.

The owners say they need about 10 new employees at each of their nine locations around Richmond.

“So you can go to a hotel, or a fine dining restaurant, or the gas station, and there’s just not enough people to serve,” said Courtney Holeman.

So they’re beefing up incentives like tuition assistance to get workers in the door.

“When we talk about opportunities, we want to make sure we have opportunities for all. We were dealing with COVID. We dealt with a lot of restaurants that were closing, so now the workforce, we’re trying to build that backup,” said Ann-Frances Lambert Richmond City Council member.

Unemployment in Richmond is up slightly compared to earlier this year. It was 2.9 percent in March, and now it’s 3.1 percent.

“At some point, the folks who have left the system or left the workforce are going to have to return, right? We all have bills to pay,” said Corey Holeman, McDonald’s Owner/Operator.

Restaurant owners all across the area hope the tide will turn and more people will sign up for a job.