The vice mayor of Folsom, California, has taken on a side hustle at a local restaurant — however she’s not doing it for the cash. Moderately, it is to assist relieve a extreme labor scarcity within the space and, maybe extra necessary, to function a function mannequin she hopes different residents of the town will emulate as companies search staff.
“I decided to lead by example,” Sarah Aquino advised CBS MoneyWatch.
Aquino, who together with serving as Folsom’s vice mayor additionally sells life and medical insurance, stated that being self-employed provides her sufficient flexibility to tackle one more job. So for 2 weeks now she’s been internet hosting company in addition to waiting and clearing tables at Folsom’s Again Bistro, owned by husband and spouse Jeff and Gail Again.
Aquino is logging about 12 hours per week and has insisted on solely incomes minimal wage — $14 an hour — regardless of the restaurant providing a larger hourly fee. She’s additionally declining suggestions.
Aquino is partnering with the native chamber of commerce to encourage anybody with spare time — mother and father whose children are again in class, college students, retirees — to hep bridge the labor hole.
“I saw a Facebook post that said they were desperate for hosts and buspeople. I told them I had no restaurant experience, but I am a hard worker and fast learner and if you’re willing to hire and train me, I will commit to work for up to 20 hours a week for six months,” Aquino stated.
Eating places need assistance
The restaurant trade specifically is grappling with nationwide staffing shortages as many staff go away the trade, citing low pay and danger from COVID-19. Some eating places have closed, whereas others have reduce on their opening hours. Eating places’ meals andas inflation climbs, consuming into their notoriously skinny revenue margins.
Aquino stated she enjoys the work, partly as a result of it lets her spend a part of the day on her ft when she would usually be seated. However the primary objective is to encourage others to assist native companies and the local people, which like all modest-sized cities depends on the gross sales tax employers generate to fund important companies.
“When businesses have to reduce their house and incomes, it affects the city,” Aquino stated.
Though Folsom, with a inhabitants of roughly 80,000, has a variety of bigger employers with many distant staff, it’s smaller corporations — whose hourly staff cannot do their jobs from house —that basically want the assistance, she added.
“We are understaffed”
Jeff Again, the co-owner of Again Bistro, stated they may nonetheless use about eight new workers.
“We are understaffed, and it limits us from doing extra catering events or being more creative on our menu. We just have to sustain what we are doing,” Again advised CBS MoneyWatch.
“Sarah is definitely helping us in the short term while we look to fill a full-time management position,” he added.
Her assist is essential this time of yr, when the restaurant counts on vacation crowds to make up for slower months at different instances.
“We make money in December and lose money other months of the year, so we need people right now in order to book private events. This is prime time,” Again stated. “Her commitment gets us through the winter season, hopefully until the restaurant industry is back up and running next spring.”