Understaffed businesses face challenges in Upcoming Christmas season

Customer service to be impacted by staff shortage


By Samantha Holomay

This upcoming holiday season will be difficult for the retail and hospitality sectors as managers struggle to deal with staffing shortages.

Ian Tostenson, the president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said the restaurant industry is about 30,000 workers short, and restaurants are having to adjust.

“We now see that restaurants can actually close on those smaller footprint days like say Monday,” he said. “You want to be more proficient with the labour that you do have.”

Staffing shortages will affect customers experiences as Tostenson said that some restaurants have opted to shrink their menus to minimize the cost of supplies.

The employment issues vary depending on the industry. Employers in different sectors have various explanations for labour shortages.

Dorothy Kane, manager of Little Mountain View Liquor Store, said the lack of incentive to work is the reason for staffing issues.

“The majority of younger people who are going to apply for the position, it’s based on the wage. They don’t want to work. They want to be off in the evenings and want to be off on the weekends. I can’t run a business that way,” said Kane.

Employees may have other priorities

Students choosing to focus on their studies are another reason leading to staffing shortages.

Langara history student Alejandro Guidotti said he warned his manager at the grocery store he works at that his studies come first this winter

“I was arguing with my management, basically saying, you know, if push comes to shove, I will quit this job,” he said.

Guidotti said the incentive to work is also affected by low wages and high cost of living.

“Companies really just don’t want to give those wages and it’s really a tactic by most companies.” said Guidotti

Employees choosing higher paying jobs

Michelle Pelenania, a manager at the Canada Post office on Victoria Drive, said people having two jobs is the reason for staffing shortages.

“Our staff who’s working here have a second job, or a third job. If the other job pays more, probably, definitely they will choose the other job,” she said.



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