‘We are so short-staffed’: Some Grand Strand business struggling to find workers

Updated: Mar. 23, 2021 at 11:22 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Tourism season is ramping up in the Grand Strand.

With the increase in demand at restaurants, hotels and other businesses, some employers are finding it difficult to hire enough workers to meet the need.

“It’s really a domino effect. If we don’t have people that can come and work and help us then the service is poor and people aren’t happy or there’s a lot of strain put on the people that are working,” Michelle Sturzenbecker, marketing director at Magnolia’s on 26th, said.

“The doors opened and everyone came back all at once, which is absolutely incredible for business, but it is incredibly hard to keep up with because we are so short-staffed,” Megan Fenwick, general manager at Croissants Bistro and Bakery, said.

At Magnolia’s, Sturcenbecker said they’re looking to hire 20 employees.

Meanwhile, Fenwick said overall the company is short around 30 employees. She said they’ve put out job ads for months with very few people applying. Current employees are working overtime.

“Some baristas are having to come back and cake decorate, the line cooks I have are pulling doubles multiple times a week,” Fenwick said.

Businesses other than restaurants are also finding it hard to attract employees. Only five people showed up at a job fair at the Waccamaw EOC parking lot Tuesday. The event usually brings in around 50 people.

Angela Walker, the owner of Hope and Freedom Home Care, said she’s looking to hire people weekly.

“It’s kind of challenging to find people who want to work in a sense because that’s the dilemma we are having,” Walker said.

In addition to holding job fairs, Karen Riordan, the CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said they’re also working with legislators to administer more J1 visas for their Summer Work Travel program. This allows international students to live and work in the U.S. during their summer vacation.

They’re also working with Horry County Schools to find high school students who are interested in a summer job.

“To find these employees is important now than ever so that we can provide great customer service to the people who are coming,” Riordan said.

This Saturday, Croissants Bistro and Bakery is holding a job fair at their location on 82nd Avenue in Myrtle Beach. The event is from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sturzenbecker said they’re hiring for all positions on the spot at Magnolia’s. All you have to do is fill out an application at their location on 26th Avenue.

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