SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As restaurants reopen, many are having a hard time hiring staff to meet customer demand.
At Bernardo Winery, Executive Chef Yakub Abowath said they are having a hard time filling three open positions.
"They're not even applying," Abowath said. "I mean, it's been nerve-racking because I have to work a lot of hours. My whole team is having to put in a lot of hours."
Dennis Crosby, the director of apprenticeship programs for Kitchens for Good, said many of their employer partners, like Bernardo Winery, are looking for people to hire.
"We're getting calls daily from restaurants from chefs," Crosby said. "They're looking for cooks at all levels."
Kitchens for Good is a non-profit that helps people with troubled pasts or complicated circumstances. Their programs help them get ready for the workforce and helps them find jobs with restaurants or catering services.
"We can definitely support the industry the best we can," Crosby said. "Right now, there are more restaurants out there than we have apprentices for, for the first time in a long time,"
Crosby said the industry has become highly competitive for workers that some places have increased wages.
"Where people were normally starting $12, $13 an hour, we're seeing people start at $14, $15, $16 an hour," he said.
Abowath said working with Kitchens for Good has been beneficial in the past. They hope the nonprofit can help them find the right person to help the restaurant as business returns.
"Pre-COVID and post-COVID, they're helping," Abowath added.