American Consumers See Drop in Restaurant, Retail Quality from Labor Shortage, Study Finds

The Washington Times cites Research Fellow Sean Higgins on costs of pandemic to restaurant business:

Sean Higgins, a research fellow specializing in labor and enforcement at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the Premise survey reflects shared unhappiness among service industry workers and customers about ordering online during the pandemic.

“For workers, taking a job as a waiter, a bartender or a cashier is riskier than ever,” Mr. Higgins said. “For one thing, you’re regularly being exposed to other people. If you’re a server or bartender, you’re nevertheless seeing fewer customers and therefore getting fewer tips.”

He said the struggles of restaurants and retailers to remain open with smaller crowds, in addition to the long shifts and hours resulting from reduced staff, have added to the discontent.

“So those workers start to look elsewhere for jobs, furthering the industry’s labor shortage,” Mr. Higgins said. “Businesses find it even harder to hire and their quality of service declines, prompting people to stay home and order online instead.”

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