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Some Panama City Beach businesses still struggle to find employees.

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - If you drive up and down Panama City Beach, it seems like all you see is hiring signs. But, some business partners say they’re having a harder time with hiring, than others.

“Ever since the Pandemic, we’ve found it very struggling times to keep employees at the restaurant,” Firefly Business Partner Lance Von Gerichten said.

Firefly is usually open seven days a week, 365 days. Von Gerichten said starting next week, the popular fine-dining restaurant will close its doors every Monday.

“It’s really hard to take that loss four days out of the month for however long we have to do this before we get this restaurant properly staffed,” said Von Gerichten.

The Pour business partner Liz Bennett said despite COVID, business has been booming at the popular coffee shop.

“We really didn’t miss a beat in regards to keeping our sales up,” said Bennett.

Keeping their sales up and keeping all of their employees. Bennett said they’re getting ready to expand their hours into the evening. This means doubling the number of employees.

“I think there’s a lot of people that want to work here,” said Bennett.

Bennett said she doesn’t foresee any problems with the hiring process. On the other hand, Von Gerichten said since they’ve been short-staffed, they’ve started cross-training employees for multiple positions. But, he said that’s not enough.

“That’s why we have to close. We feel like we have to keep our reputation up there without sacrificing our service and burning out our staff,” said Von Gerichten.

While different businesses are experiencing different outcomes during the pandemic, both Von Gerichten and Bennett seem to agree on one thing. People would rather collect unemployment than apply for jobs.

“I think maybe people find it more convenient to be sitting at home right now,” said Von Gerichten.

“I don’t understand where the workers are,” said Bennett.

Both say for people who want to work, there is plenty of work available.

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