There are so many theories about the labor shortage in the hospitality industry. One of them is that restaurant workers now make more money staying at home. So why walk back to work? Perhaps that is true, but it will be short-lived. At some point the money will dry up and the work gives each of us a daily purpose whether we like the purpose or not.

The other theory is that during COVID, people in the industry took a giant step backward with no choice. That has given them all a little peace of mind to realize that they need a better life balance. Others have set up food businesses that are more geared towards their own needs. Baking bread from your own kitchen and delivering it to the local community has to be insanely rewarding on several fronts. That won’t work for everyone.

The people in the restaurant world work really hard. Somebody once told me that you have to love it because there is no reason to like it. Many of the people behind the engine of a place where food is served are not necessarily citizens of our country. The number of people from other countries who come here to work is enormous. Some come for the winter, like the ski instructors who move from South America for the season and return in the off-season when it’s winter, like Chile. Many become warehouse advisors. Many come for a summer job. Thanks to Trump, these people stopped coming.

Is there any data on how many people who refueled restaurants have been deported even though they have lived here for years? My theory is a little different. I believe that the systematic deportation of too many hard working people who have never received green card service is a huge chunk of the restaurant and hospitality world. Shop owners also complain that they can’t find people to work for them. It’s a mix of bad government policies and fewer students working during these years.

Our country has always been driven by the hard working people who come here to have a better life. Many work in multiple professions to give their children a better life. They are the foundation of our workforce. Growing up your children with an education and becoming working members of society is one of the most important and unique ways our country works.

Trump stopped the cycle. It will return at some point, and it should work to its full potential, but in the meantime we will see a greater shortage of workers behind the scenes at our restaurants.

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