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The Villages
Friday, July 1, 2022

Boosting pay for servers seen as way to address restaurant labor shortage

As restaurants in The Villages struggle through labor shortages, some say the answer is simple – pay people higher wages.

This past weekend, Gator’s Dockside restaurant at Brownwood was forced to close early because it did not have enough servers. It’s part of the imbalance as snowbirds, Villagers and their guests are eager and willing to dine out, but restaurants can’t find the staff to serve them.

Gators Dockside in The Vllages was forced to shut down early Saturday due to a staffing shortage
Gator’s Dockside in The Villages was forced to shut down early Saturday due to a staffing shortage.

Reader Erica Roth responded to a Villages-News.com query about the staffing shortage and proposed some solutions.

“The Villages has full-time non-seasonal living people who need jobs to support themselves.

Not everyone is retired who lives here. Some of us come from out of state to be live-in caretakers for our parents, so they can continue their lifestyle with assistance out here,” Roth said.

She said restaurant workers need real jobs, real pay and medical benefits.

“Real jobs pay year round. Or we should be unionized in restaurants and supermarkets and other service industries,” she said. “There is no unemployment out here to pay up to 40 hours when jobs cut back hours.”

Reader Susan Despres echoed the theme of better pay for waiters and waitresses. She suggests $20 an hour.

“At $20 an hour you will get people to work,” she said.

She added that people will not work “for peanuts.”

As the population of The Villages continues to explode, more and more restaurants are being added and the labor pool is essential to the “lifestyle” of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. What’s the solution? Share your thoughts at [email protected]

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