Worker Shortage: Baltimore Neighborhood’s Last Restaurant Shuts Down Due to Lack of Staff

by John Jamison
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There is a worker shortage in the United States right now. Too many jobs and too few workers paint the picture of the employment landscape. We’ve already seen what appears to be the beginnings of a robot takeover in the form of automated workers at a Texas restaurant. Ferry transportation in Washington has suffered as a result of the shortage. And now, an entire community in Baltimore has said goodbye to its last restaurant.

Cross Keys Village is a neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. For the past 13 years, Village Square Cafe has made a home there. Last week, they made the difficult decision of closing their doors to the public. The cafe broke the news to its customers on its website.

“As unsettling as that news may be, it comes after many months of long hours and enormous effort to maintain the high standards that have been the trademark of our cafe. We simply cannot find qualified kitchen staff to keep up with the volume of business. With no end in sight to the present employment crisis, we can no longer compromise and disappoint you, our wonderful friends. Unfortunately, what we have so lovingly built is simply no longer sustainable,” the website reads.

The closing of the Village Square Cafe marks the fall of the final domino for the Cross Keys restaurant scene. Of course, Baltimore is a big city. Plenty of restaurants are still operating in the surrounding areas. But there is something significant about losing a community staple in such a manner.

Based on the response from the Village Square Cafe’s Facebook page, the restaurant was a beloved fixture of Cross Keys Village.

“Wishing all of you the best . Loved stopping there even if for just coffee and an great omelet and enjoying the atmosphere,” someone wrote.

The Worker Shortage Is Affecting More Than Just Small Businesses

No one is immune to labor shortages. Even the best-run companies will come undone if they can’t find employees to staff their businesses. One industry that’s being hit pretty hard at the moment is fast food.

According to CBS News, Chik-Fil-A and McDonald’s locations around the country are closing down their dining rooms due to a lack of staff. Nick Bunker, a director of economic research at job engine Indeed, told CBS MoneyWatch why the leisure and hospitality sector is struggling to find employees.

“Compared to pre-pandemic times, [the sector is] having a hard time turning job openings into hires, and employers in the industry are having a hard time retaining the workers they already have. Employers now have this two-sided problem, having a relatively hard time bringing folks on and having to deal with holding on to people that they do have,” said Bunker.

Outsider.com