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‘We have lots of jobs’: Dallas-based restaurant Dickey’s Barbecue Pit impacted by restaurant labor shortage

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Dickey’s Barbecue Pit continues to expand worldwide despite the effects of the current labor shortage, according to a press report.

However, Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s, remarked that the restaurant has been impacted by the labor shortage that has resulted from the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Dickey’s has restaurants in 46 states and over 550 locations across the nation that are feeling the pinch due to a shrinking labor pool,” Dickey said. “Even though we pay our pit crew members a higher than average minimum wage, the extended unemployment and the stimulus checks have made hourly employment opportunities uncompetitive. I am back to visiting our stores around the country monthly, and the single biggest issue across all markets is labor and lack of job applicants.”

Despite the labor shortage, Dickey noted that restaurants had returned to full capacity for guests while adhering to local regulations.

“We are 100% back to capacity for dine-in guests and follow local guidelines,” Dickey said. “As a family-owned and operated company for over 80 years, we are happy to serve our guests anyway they feel comfortable whether that’s dine-in, curbside pick-up, delivery or contactless drop-off.”

Additionally, the restaurant plans to maintain customer happiness by cross-training staff for different roles and offering incentives to keep those employees. The restaurant will also be upfront with its customers about lengthy wait times or item shortages.

“We’ll keep our ‘let us get that for you’ service style, meaning our pit crew will continue getting guests sides, sauce, sodas and other items to reduce community touchpoints,” Dickey said. “In addition, we believe in cross-training our employees on multiple positions and offering incentives to retain our employees. We also are candid with our guests, if things are taking a little longer, we let them know why and what to expect. If we are sold out of any item or need extra time to accommodate a special request, we communicate that. Courtesy and communication are the key.”

According to the Texas Restaurant Association, 94% of restaurants are currently unable to operate at full capacity due to an insufficient number of staff members.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that national job listings surpassed 8 million for the first time in March. However, many businesses also reported that filling those openings has been difficult.

Despite these industry-wide challenges, Dickey’s had a good first quarter of 2021, securing 67 franchise agreements throughout its 10-state pipeline.

“We are hiring,” Dickey said. “We have lots of jobs! We offer excellent benefits and flexible scheduling. We have over 160 Dickey’s Barbecue Pits in Texas. You can find more opportunities at www.Dickeys.com.”

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