By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Restaurants are struggling to get cooks and servers to come back to work during the pandemic after many had to go on leave once indoor dining closed down.

Now that eateries are opening up, some employees are switching industries or opting to stay home.

The restaurant worker shortage is now a problem across the Southland and nationwide.

“No. 1 reason was a lot of people were collecting stimulus checks and were more comfortable being at home. Others were moms that were not able to work and stay home with the kids,” said Alejandra Carbajal, the owner of Taqueria El Diablo.

Some managers have gone online to try to recruit applicants, but that strategy has yet to work either.

The co-owner of Sena on Myrtle, Nikki Caiello, said she had no luck hiring through major job sites or posting on social media.

“We have a pretty strong social media following, and like, nothing. Nothing!” she said.

So, she had to get creative.

“Finally, I printed it on the menu,” Caiello said.

In print and in bold it says, “Join our team. Hiring all positions.”

Caiello said it’s evident from her hiring struggles that job seekers are also switching industries as the pandemic inspires them to follow different career paths.

“I’ve hired more people that never worked in restaurants before than ever,” she said.

With fewer workers serving a surge in customers while adapting to new COVID-safe business models, restaurant jobs can be demanding.