MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Now is the time many restaurants start hiring for help, and hundreds of positions are opening up along the Grand Strand. But employers are having a hard time filling those spots.
"There are over 1500 bars and restaurants competing for employees," explains Kurt Smith, co-owner of Smitty's Pine Island Pub.
Smith is opening a new pub and needs servers before he can open the doors. He is looking to add at least 40 jobs to the local economy. He posts openings on Craigslist, but says he is having a hard time finding employees.
"It is hard to get the people you want for your restaurant when there are so many other businesses wanting the same employees," he says.
Smith explains that in this area, there are so many restaurants that the demand is higher than the supply of servers. In addition, he is finding workers want work right away.
"Because there are so many restaurants available to hire people at the moment, I lost out on rounds and rounds of people until right before we opened," Smith recalls.
It is not just new establishments striving to find servers.
"We've hired 6 or 7 people. As of right now, 2 have not worked out," says Nicki Pearl, a trainer for Travinia Italian Kitchen.
Pearl says right now is when they start looking for help. They want a fully-trained staff by mid-may, when the tourist season gets swinging.
While the applications are coming in, she says the applicants coming with them are not always dependable.
"Around here, you can find jobs. But it's finding that good help that is difficult," says Pearl.
It is a common problem restaurants are having; workers with a mentality that it is easy to jump jobs because so many places are hiring.
"People will hop from job to job. It's just so easy to do that, so many positions are available," agrees Smith.
Another obstacle is creating the right culture in the kitchen.
"It's not just working hard and being on time, it is creating a positive work environment," says Smith.
Both restaurants are accepting applications in person:
Travinia Italian Kitchen Smitty's Pine Island Pub
4011 Deville Street, Myrtle Beach 364 Grissom Pkwy, Myrtle Beach