HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — For the past few weeks, ABC Action News has been telling you how food and lodging businesses across the state have been struggling to hire workers. But a Tampa food chain says their newest location is ready to serve customers at its grand opening come Tuesday.
"I actually found out about this position through a friend that used to work for Sofresh," Assistant Manager Richard Felipe said.
Word of mouth landed Felipe a management job at the new Sofresh location in Carrollwood. Then it was his turn to keep it going.
"I have actually gotten people to come in, and just by meeting them in a Starbucks line, Publix," Felipe said.
When ABC Action News talked with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association last week, they told us restaurants of all sizes were having trouble hiring staff.
"I see the signs all day, every time I drive saying, 'now hiring,'" Felipe said.
Management at Sofresh says it's been more challenging than usual.
"We've had to come up with some different protocols, get a little creative," Vice President of Operations John Williams said.
Williams said they did traditional advertising on sites like Indeed, but they also tried to put boots on the ground.
"We've gone to schools, we've gone to churches," Williams said. "They would take the flyers, or we could put the flyers somewhere, and they would tell the high schoolers, whoever it may be, that we were hiring."
Williams also advises business owners to re-evaluate their benefits.
"We try to pay a little more, and we offer tips and shift meals and family discounts," Williams said. "If you pay them right and treat them right, they're not going to leave you."